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Jamia Hafsa: Erase my memories

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    Jamia Hafsa: Erase my memories

    (translation from Urdu)

    Monday, August 06, 2007

    Report: Sa’id Ahmed ‘Abbasi

    Roznama Ummat (Daily Ummat)

    ‘Erase my memories’

    Ghazi’s leg was bleeding, we refused to go out but he asked us to go for the sake of Allah – Umber Salim, student of Jami’ah Hafsah

    I tried very much to forget all about this and these scenes should go out of my mind but whenever I close my eyes, the same view comes before me. Ghazi was standing against the books cupboard, his leg was bleeding, some bullets penetrated his leg, he was saying, ‘My daughters, you go out, may Allah protect you, and you yourselves have to see how to go out, now I give you all in the protection of Allah.’ By him was standing the son of Maulana Abdul Aziz, Hassan. Umm Hassan who was along with us expressed her love to him and said, ‘You don’t come out, and you wouldn’t be arrested, so many of your sisters are yet stuck inside, be shaheed while protecting them’, from the next room Ammi Jaan’s (Ghazi’s mother) voices were coming, she was reciting kalimah (shahadah) and was then alive but she was shot on her arm and leg and blood was coming out from there. As soon as we came out of the room’s door, bodies of two brothers were lying there, seeing that I started weeping.

    Having said that, Asma Mazhar began to wipe wetness in her eyes with the tissue, though she was completely covered in a burqa but tears could be seen coming out of eyes again and again. Asma who was the student in daurah hadith, spent years in this madrasah and she was very close to Umm Hassan. In the last moments of this operation, when Umm Hassan came out, Asma was also one of those students who came out with her, who is an eye witness to lots of incidents which took place inside and she is still determined to fight her case. She made me wander about in Islamabad so much that I started feeling disappointed but finally I had the chance to have a conversation with her. A local journalist fellow told me about her but didn’t tell that meeting her is as difficult as meeting a federal minister. When first time I talked to her, she didn’t wait to ask: I don’t even know you, how can I see you?
    ‘Trust me and think of me as a brother, I have also conducted interviews with many girls students.’
    ‘I have such an experience with the so called brothers that please leave it.’
    After this rude answer, I told her the name of my friend who gave me her number so she could believe me’, on that she disconnected the phone saying, ‘Ok, let me see’. I was kind of disappointed then the next day she called from a new number and asked where I would see her.
    ‘Obviously, I will come to your house’, I replied.
    ‘No, not at the house, give me the name of another place.’
    ‘Well, if you like you can come to my hotel.’
    ‘You were supposed to know that the hotel is not a suitable place, think for sometime and tell me about the place then I will see.’

    Her conversation made me dizzy; circumstances have made these girls very mature that they give a ‘tough time’ to any big shot. How would I arrange a place in this city which was like an inn to me. At last I requested an acquaintance to arrange for an interview in his school but he was concerned about the coming of this burqa wearing lady to his modern school in this posh area. When everything was settled I asked Asma to come to school the next day at this time. Before the appointed time I confirmed if she was coming but when I got the school in I-8/4, from my hotel in G-7/6, she called, ‘You definitely would have arrived at school but if it doesn’t bother you please come to this place at G-6’ other words she called me to Tower from Qayedabad (places in Karachi) and then was asking to come to Clifton and when I was on the way to where she asked me to come I was told she had got the school. Therefore when in this extremely hot weather I came before her with my boiling head, the first question I asked was quite bitter.

    ‘You people used to say you wouldn’t come out and wanted to get martyred inside then why did you come out in the end, while according to you, hundreds of girls were inside and no one knows about them by now and you left them all behind?’
    ‘No, this is not as you say, as a matter of fact, we said to baji Umm Hassan that we didn’t want to go out and wanted to get martyred inside, in fact when the operation was started, many girls students went out and many girls students went out that day also when Maulana Abdul Aziz was arrested. Because Aapi Jaan said we all would go out, that’s the reason why Maulana sahib had gone out, but when students asked her (Umm Hassaan) why she hadn’t come out by then, she said that was her house, where could she go having left her house, on that 27 of us girls refused to go out that we wouldn’t go out unless you come with us.’

    ‘So you were 27 girls inside?’
    ‘I’m talking about Ghazi’s house that we were 27 girls over there, the rest of the girls were inside the madrasah where all the ways to go in were closed, if someone tried to go there he would be shot; we had a girl with us, she was saying she wanted to take a bath and pray salaat, but baaji strictly forbade her that she wouldn’t go to the top. On top had accumulated rain water that’s why she wanted to go to the top in order to take water. Baaji appointed me to keep an eye on her so she couldn’t go to the top, but in the morning she quietly went to the top and then we had lots of difficulties to bring her body down from the top.’

    ‘While coming out, did you have any contact with the girls who were in the madrasah?’
    ‘Let me explain with the map, Ghazi sahab’s and Maulana sahab’s house was totally separate from the madrasah and madrasah was at some distance. When the bombing started, no one could go out, if someone tried to go there at night then it was useless as all the ways were blocked. In the first 4 days we could go into the madrasah and have a contact through wireless or mobile, it kept coming to our notice how many students got martyred that day and how many wounded. We though couldn’t do anything for them but kept making duas or praying salaat or nafl.’

    ‘How much weapons did you people have?’
    ‘Alas, that’s what is sad that we didn’t have arms, or we wouldn’t only curse helplessly, we even asked Ghazi sahib, ‘You talked about suicide bombing, now give us something so we can carry them out’, then he said, ‘My daughter, that I said just as the part of strategy, you should never think about that, we won’t even think of killing our own people. We only had sticks in the madrasah as well as in the house, so if anyone could try to get us inside, we would defend ourselves.’

    ‘How much is the truth in the congregational graves or that’s also the part of strategy?’
    ‘I bear witness that I will tell about only what I saw from my eyes. Leave what I heard. Probably it was the 5th or 6th day of the operation. I was along with Umm Hassaan then we heard noises, I looked from the room window, it was the building in front named ‘Umm Kulthum’, it had two verandas and both I could see, both had hard floors but when I saw both floors had been dug out and brothers were placing bodies into them, in one grave were girls’ bodies side by side, and in the other were of brothers. This I saw from my own eyes, there were bodies in a very big number in both graves, I didn’t have a courage to count those bodies, I just sat down over there, in the same way, in the uncemented courtyard, graves were dug out to bury girls’ bodies. There were some bodies whose head was ruptured and the brain had been pushed out, some had their intestines come out.’

    ‘Is all that you saw yourself or you are talking about what you heard?’
    ‘I saw that from my own eyes, and since then I can’t forget that, so many people were killed in such cold blood, even the bodies are not there, no one cares, no one’s to ask them..’(God knows what she starts saying in her emotions and I silently switch off the tape recorder).

    ‘How did you come out and what happened then?, I asked after a while.
    ‘When Ghazi sahib had been wounded, he said to Umm Hassaan, ‘If you stay inside, these girls will also not go out and will be martyred. People as well are saying we have made them hostage, for the sake of Allah, take them out and tell the people about our calamity’, on that we all agreed to go out, though we all the time wore burqa, we didn’t take them off the whole week, who knew they would intrude anytime and we wouldn’t be in hijab. At the time we were coming out, we had two young boys, one was 13 and the other was 10. The one who was 10 years old didn’t go out, her mother brought her there saying his father was very cruel and beat him, please keep him with you and educate him. Now when we were about to go out, the boy started crying saying he wouldn’t go home, better to get martyred there in but wouldn’t go home. I appeased him that he wouldn’t go home but I would take him with me. So he agreed to go after my efforts. As we came out of the house, there were armed security men on top of the library and on the ground, some of them were hardly a few steps away from us, we came out raising our hands and it was when it was announced that whoever came out would come raising hands and those wouldn’t be shot. The moment we came out, all of them pointed their guns at us and those who were near started yelling that they would do suicide attacks, get away from them. All soldiers drew back pushing each other and told us to take off the burqas. We said you can kill us but we wouldn’t take our burqas off. We don’t have anything, don’t fear us. I can’t tell about the fear which was on their faces. Afterward they removed the shirt of the 13 year old boy and tied his hands at the back and tied a cloth around his mouth and then started beating him. And the boy who was 10 years old was beaten by them so much that I can’t tell. The poor boy was so small than when the soldiers slapped him he would fall down, they slapped him so much that I started weeping and said to them, he’s my brother, let him go, the other soldiers told them to stop and not to beat him anymore. So with lots of difficulty he came to the surrender point with us, they had beaten the small boy so much that I saw at the surrender point his face was going red.’

    ‘How many dead bodies did you see at the time you came out?’
    ‘We all came out of the house of Ghazi sahib and there were a few steps between us and the security forces, that is when we came out, they were a few steps away from Ghazi sahab’s house and in this distance I saw three bodies, all were of brothers (boys students). Two of the bodies were at the door step and they were bleeding, one of them was later called a foreigner, and when I saw his picture in the newspaper I recognized him that he was lying martyred at the door step of Ghazi sahib. Another body outside the house was lying between the security forces.’

    ‘When you came out, was Ghazi sahib in the house?’
    ‘Yes, he was in the house, and he departed us, his leg was bleeding, he was standing near the door against the books cupboard, by him was standing Hassaan and in the next room Ammi Jaan (Ghazi’s mother) was wounded reciting kalimah. Umm Hassan gave her love to her son before leaving the house and asked him to get martyred. Afterward when we came out, soldiers were just in front.’

    ‘Right, what was the arrangement for food and drinks inside?’
    ‘Bhai jaan, we ate the same which brothers like you sent us from outside. What did you people send to us? We ate trees’ leaves; we plucked leaves off grape wine and drank dirty water, later that also finished. We soaked cloths in that water and put them on our eyes to protect from the tear gassing, and then the same water we drank. Once brothers sent us some boxes of juice and biscuits from masjid, we asked the young boy who brought them, ‘What have brothers eaten?’, and he said, ‘Nothing, that’s all they had which they sent you’, on that we asked the boy, ‘Go and take this back and tell them, the sisters are saying, they have eaten their meals, so you eat them’, as soon as the boy left the house a burst of bullets came and he got martyred. I saw through the window, he was lying on the ground by the face and was moving his foot, the blood was spreading out from his body. A little while later, the boy was fired at again and the biscuits and juice packets were destroyed. The juice ran out and biscuits were of no use. For many days the body of that child was laid there.

    The interview was going on and there were so many questions in my mind then Asma’s phone rang, she talked a bit on phone and stood up, ‘Ok, the time is over.’

    Re: Jamia Hafsa: Erase my memories

    :( May the truth be known to all and may the criminals be exposed and burn forever.
    How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck couldn't chuck wood? :banbear:


      Re: Jamia Hafsa: Erase my memories

      "Closer and closer to mankind comes their Reckoning: yet they heed not and they turn away" (21:1)


        Re: Jamia Hafsa: Erase my memories

        Ameen. this is heartbreaking!

        3:103 And hold fast, all together, unto the bond with God, and do not draw apart from one another. And remember the blessings which God has bestowed upon you: how, when you were enemies, He brought your hearts together, so that through His blessing you became brethren; and [how, when] you were on the brink of a fiery abyss. He saved you from it. In this way God makes clear His messages unto you, so that you might find guidance.


          Re: Jamia Hafsa: Erase my memories

          Ameen x1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00

          Its so sad!!! This is not what Pakistan was made for!!! Its just so sad!!! May Allah guide us all. Ameen x10000000000000000000000000000000

          Last edited by Khadija222333; 07-08-07, 06:54 PM.