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Missing in Pakistan

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(Missing in Pakistan - Duration 00:24:00:03 - Producer: Ziad Zafar)

(Prayer call)

Journalist: like most military dictatorships Pakistan has a dismal human rights record

(Prayer call)

For years, the people of Pakistan have suffered humiliation and widespread violation of their civil and political

(Instrumental music)

Violence against women and minority groups has been endemic in a system prone to persecution and witch-hunts. But Pakistan's involvement in America's war on terror has given these violations an entirely new dimension International Human Rights organisations claim that the war has given the military government in Islamabad an effective smokescreen to authorize arbitrary detention torture and has lead to the adoption of a sinister new tactic in dealing with dissent. They say it sponsored kidnapping


The Pakistani government has flatly denied the accusations. But in recent years hundreds of people have just disappeared They are believed to be in the custody of Pakistan's intelligence agencies (music) Some surface in Guantanamo Bay Others - are not so lucky. They remain missing

(Veiled lady: At least tell me what his fault was?)

(Old lady: For Allah's sake, give me back my son)


Anjelicka Pathak - Amnesty International: We know that about 2/3 of the people in Guantanamo Bay were handed through unlawfully by Pakistan to US custody. There are numerous people who have disappeared in various secret sites around the world and there are many an unknown number of people who have disappeared in Pakistan itself. So it is not possible to give an exact number. But every one of them is one too many

Wasi Zafar - Pakistani Minister for Law, HR and Justice: this is just a novel, it is just a novel. This is, this is not... this is a lie


W. Zafar: What is it? This is Amnesty International's lie

Ali Dayan - Human Rights Watch: Now, this is, in the vast array of Human RIghts violations that we have documented in Pakistan - this development is a new one. We know that disappearances, as a form of law-enforcement is something that has been introduced to Pakistan post the war on terror which means that the US has had a - well, an absolutely crucial role to play

Journalist: Yes, those people

Wasi Zafar - Pakistani Minister for Law, HR and Justice: No these are pictures, just pictures

Journalist: there is a reason, these are people

W. Zafar: you tell me - Nooo Listen, no no listen, what is happening. Persons like - and children like you Who exploit the things - these persons normally go for terrorism they run away from their houses, they join some organisations, they disappear by themselves.


Journalist: But behind the pictures exist real human stories like that of Amina Masood, a 42-year old college teacher and mother of 3. Her husband Masood went missing 2 years ago and has not been seen since. An engineer by profession, Masood was a born-again Muslim preacher, but Amina insists he was not linked to any political group. She says she knew instantly that he had been abducted by intelligence agencies

Amina Masood: I was assuming it from the beginning, because those where the days when the newspapers were full of news like this the government was picking so many thousands of people, of like - that kind of appeals. And they were not concerned if they weren't picking up rhe right people or the wrong people. Washington and they had to please, you know Bush and Blair. That was the new purpose of our government. If anything anything wrong happened to Masood if - if any damage to his health would have come I'm not going to forgive. As long as I am alive I'm not going to forgive. I'm going to ask those people, they're responsible for it. And why, why such a good person is tortured? Why such a good person is picked up and kept in illegal custody? And the family doesn't even know the children do not even know why and why our father and when and when and for how long? It's a series of question marks. I must find him at all cost I must find him wherever he is, I must snatch him back From that day onwards I - I never rested.

Journalist Though no government official would help her Amina has worked at Amnesty to find her husband She found a joint action forum and brought the other 100's of families like hers Women chanting (in Urdu): Give us back our loved ones Journalist: to protest the illegal detention of their relatives But when they tried to protest outside the headquarters of Pakistan's military establishment, they were told to go home or face dire consequences

Man: Just give me one good reason (?)

Journalist: When they persisted the protest was broken up and many were arrested including Amina's 16-year old son Mohamed

Amina Masood: Leave my son alone Let my son go

Police Officer: Get to the side


Man: What are you doing... Let him wear his clothes

Mohamed: Help me ... Help me!

Police Officer: Throw him inside ... spoilt brat

Mohamed: Why wont anyone help me - Why wont anyone help me?

Amina: I want my son right now, my son, I want him back right now

Amina's daughter: Ma, please save my brother please bring him back Ma, please save my brother

Amina Why did you strip him? Bastards! die die die, I hope you all die Amina and daughter: Bastards! die die die, I hope you all die Amina: I hope God doesn't grant you a funeral I pray he doesn't grant you anything I hope you all die Dont you dare touch my children

Amina Masood: Like a daughter of the nation, is that what I deserved? Was that such a big crime to protest, to ask about my husband, that when he's going to return and what crime he has done? At least I should know what crime he has done why he's being kept away from us Do we have no basic rights?

Wasi Zafar - Pakistani Minister for Law, Human Rights and Justice: Yes, these are baseless, these are - No, no, these are exaggerated, Exaggerated

The word business I am saying ? --- You are saying the word business I have not used the word until now, You are using the word business I am saying, these are exaggerated

Ali Dayan HRW: Pakistan has an extensive intelligence apparatus a security apparatus. Right down to the neighbourhood level in Pakistan You have intelligence agencies monitoring This is a fact of life in Pakistan There is no way beyond this. And I think that we are far beyond the point - in any analysis of Pakistan or even in any cursory, basic look at Pakistan, to to deny this. No one denies this. Even the military doesn't deny this. They are very clear about the fact tha they have that sort of presence

General (retd) Hameed Gul: You know, there are excesses, and they do take place in every society But it was about CIA at one time it was said that it was an invisible government. A book was written on them. And similarly, all the intelligence agencies They have a tendency, which is because their job is of a clandestine nature They tend to cross the limit and they've got to be reined in And as best as I could, I tried to educate my people to hold them back, and even to admonish them on these instances.

Ali Dayan HRW: We have documented at Human Rights Watch enough cases of torture in the custody of the police, the Pakistani police, and of military intelligence agencies to know that that's just a fact of life, that's how it is, that is what happens here, Torture is widespread.

Asma Jahangir - UN special rapporteur on Torture: and there is huge evidence, overwhelming, that the government of Pakistan is maintaining illegal detention centers where torture goes on as a routine,

Journalist: Ali Hassan was kept in a torture cell for 3 months and interrogated jointly by American and Pakistani intelligence agents Nervously , he agreed to speak to us but only if we didn't use his real name or show his face

Ali Hassan' - Victim of enforced disappearance and torture They blindfolded us and put hoods on our heads and then shoved us into a car when they opened our blindfolds we were in the cell it was a basement somewhere, thats all i could tell... They tortured us in different ways They used to cane the soles of my feet They would keep me tied up and wouldn't let me sleep... for up to five days at a stretch sometimes, I received electric shocks twice They would hook my finger up and attach a clip to my stomach and pass the current through that, The first time it was unbearable... It felt like lots of people beating you with sticks, Then I would regain consciousness it didn't feel so bad, The first time was the worst, They kept asking me where I'd hidden the dynamite, I kept telling them i didn't know, I've never even seen dynamite in real life... I've only ever seen it in the movies -

Aftab Sherpao - Pakistani Interior Minister: When you talk of the War on Terror When you talk of the war on terror, I think - it's a different sort of a war, Here, you don't look - you all look - the damage they cause or the terror that they cause to the innocent people, We are in the mids of that sort of a situation where we are fighting a war against terror,

Journalist what you say is that some - if not as many as I suggested - that some basic liberties have been the casualty of this war on terror?

Sherpao What do you mean by some basic liberties have been--?

Journalist That certain human rights have been overlooked or trampled

Sherpao You are talking about the liberties of the terrorists?

Journalist of citizens

Sherpao of the terrorists?

Abdul Hafeez Lakho - Human Rights Lawyer: We are at zero point now All this is happening, yes, We are living as free citiens, which we are not I'm not moving or I'll be picked up - For what offence will I be picked up, What wrong? ..., ? --> which will displease somebody

Iqbal Haider - Secretary General, Human rights Commission of Pakistan: I don't find appropriate words to condemn this practice of disappearances in such a blatant manner and to make innocent people suffer and languish and subjected to torture, Oh my God, there can't be a greater inhuman barbary, This is not a Gestapo age

Journalist While there has been an expansion in media space in Pakistan attacks on journalists have increased in recent years The Committee to protect journalists, a New York-based watch-dog group, rated Pakistan among the top 3 countries where press freedom is endangered, Reporters on location ...? Sanjay Kumar ? shot footage of US fighter jets taking off from an air base from inside Pakistan one the government had denied was being used by the US, They were kept in illegal detention for 3 months and tortured, They were lucky to be released

Woman It's ok, don't cry, Its alright now

Journalist but are not since talking of their ordeal,

Woman It's ok, don't cry darling, Its all alright now, everything is fine...

Tasnim Aslam - Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson I'm not aware of any journalist being ehm, abducted or it has... Voices quoting names ? Man It goes on and journalists have been ...? I can tell you that T,Aslam I ah - I have not heard of any journalist Er, being harrassed I am not aware of any specific case - there was a case of one journalist

who had disappeared - Hayatullah ... sp? --> He - er, unfortunately, that was very sad his dead body was later recovered Journalist Journalist Hayatullah Khan sp? --> took a photograph of something Pakistan's government said was never there: wreckage of the US hell fire missile that destroyed a house in Pakistan's tribal area, killing several Pakistani civilians and one suspected Al Qaida militant Shouts Tyrants! Answer for the blood you have shed!

Journalist But there are more cases than the Foreign Office is willing to talk about - countless cases of harassment and detention of journalists have been documented,

Shouts Stop aggression against journalists

Journalist There has been a vociferous outcry by journalists and members of civil society

Police attack on the office of Geo News - 19 March 2007

Journalist but attacks on the press have continued,

General retd --> Hameed Gul - Former Chief of ISI (1986-90) You know that the international community does not come down hard upon it, The Americans have chosen to remain quiet on this because they have - they are setting the example, they are setting the tone: ehm, they picked up people, taken them to Gunatanamo Bay and to Abu Grahib, Stories are out, and torture camps in Kandahar and ...? and all the stories are there, So basically, as the world leader, world leader and flag carrier in Human Rights America excels, When it is the world leader of the Human Rights then obviously the small minions who are our rulers - they can go to any extent,

Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid - Former Supreme Court Judge If at all, the aid would be stopped to Pakistan by the US and other agencies, it would not be on account of Human Rights' violation, It will be for other reasons, It will be a policy decision will be taken - but not ditch Pakistan ? They will say: "Pakistan is no longer a country which is required in this process" Or "Pakistan has gone, has done enough for our victory in Afghanistan", And I think Pakistan will be punished for that, and not for Human Rights violation, Amina Masood filed a legal petition on behalf of nearly a hundred families of missing people asking the courts to help find their loved ones - Pakistan's top judge, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry, took up the case and called the military government to account for ist role in enforced disappearances,

In March 2007, while the case was being heard, General Musharraf dismissed the Chief Justice and put him under house arrest, The country exploded in a spate of violent protests that almost brought down Musharraf's rule... Rally voices mainly in Urdu, with "Go Musharraf Go" in En, TV journalist The capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, is a battlefield today, as thousands have come out to protest the Chief ...,? deposed - Supreme Justice Chaudry Iftikhar, It is being widely seen as an autocratic assault on the judiciary while increasingly Dictatorial ...,?

Civil society has been incensed by images of the Supreme Court Justice being dragged by his hair and man-handled by a low police officer, Thousands continue to protest across the country - Dozens have been arrested Judges have left their benches, lawyers refused to plead cases, the opposition parties are united in condemnation and the press has gone to assault, A storm is brewing in Pakistan as the military dictator romanced by the West now seems to be losing his grip

rally voices with "Go Musharraf Go"

The White House declined to comment on the political crisis, terming it: "An internal matter of the people of Pakistan"

Roedad Khan - Environmentalist and retired Civil Servant Why you organize here this? The land of Madison, the land of Jefferson, people who, who believed in government of the people by the people for the people - Why are they supporting ...,? Why are they supporting ...? who is ...? in Pakistan? They have one rule for themselves, they have another rule for the people of Pakistan that does out democracy, Why does democracy end here? ? Why don't they apply democracy to Pakistan?


Bush Thank you all,


Bush Thanks, thanks for the warm welcome, Our strategy to protect America is based on a clear premiss: the security of our nation depends on the advance of liberty in other nations, In September 11, 2001, we saw that the problems originating in a failed and oppresive state 7'000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country, We saw that dictatorships shelter terrorists, feed resentment and radicalism and threaten the security of free nations, Democracies replace resentment with hope, Democracies respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbours, Democracies join the fight against terror, And so America's committed to an historic, long term goal: to secure the peace of the world, we seek the end of tyranny in our world,

The United State of America has consistently supported successive military dictatorships in Pakistan over a period of sixty years Countrywide protests for missing people and in support of an indipendent judiciary have persisted for three months after the dismissal of the Chief Justice, Over forty-five people have lost their lives in the ensuing political violence


Ejaz Ahsan Human Rights Commissioner of Pakistan ... people you are talking about ...,? numbers, these are people Man (check who) The intelligence agencies have the audacity to be ?... to be the government officials that nobody is in our custody,

Wazi Zafar: Most of them, for erh, these are, they are in war in terrorism Man check : This is not done, this is not acceptable, This is not tolerable How dare you say that we can disclothe the child? Aftab Sherpao: Erh, I'm also concerned, Everyone is concerned if someone makes a and cry about a missing person, We are all concerned in this sense,

Journalist But what measures is the government taking specificly in the case of missing people, to try and trace them...

Sherpao What can the government do? The government can, you know, find out - er, if he belongs to a province, from the provincial government, from others Journalist ... officers ?

Sherpao Sorry?

Journ, it's the government's job,

Sherpao it's the government's ...? No, when it is about - we notice that they're gone -?

Ali Dayan We cannot have a situation where - just because you are the armed party - means you can come in, kidnap me or kill me, with no fear of any kind of law coming to bear on you,

Roedad Khan there is hope for missing people There is hope for women in this country There is hope for the people of Pakistan Do have not bitterness The power of the powerless You will see the power of the powerless, Very soon.

Video Details

Duration: 24 minutes and 13 seconds
Country: Pakistan
Language: English
Producer: Ziad Zafar
Director: Ziad Zafar
Views: 522
Posted by: calmansi on Nov 27, 2007

"Independently produced documentary about the abduction and illegal detention of Pakistani citizens by Pakistani intelligence agencies. The film is circulating informally among concerned citizens in Pakistan as the subject is too “hot” for commercial channels. This is truth-telling at its bravest, unflinching best."

From: , where you will find further info about the film.

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