An encounter with Pakistan Army

April 7, 2012. Left Hyderabad (Sindh) early morning for Rato Dero in Larkana to join funeral of Jeay Sindh Qomi Mahaz (JSQM) Chairperson martyr Bashir Khan Qureshi.

Pakistani agents stole my BlackBerry smart phone from my pocket as I crossed crowded enterence of the hospital where the postmortem was being carried. I managed the SIM and the handheld on my return back home the next after-noon.

As soon as I opened the mobile, Cyral Almeida, Islamabad based journalist associated with daily Dawn gave me ring.

"Shah Ji, the secessionist movement in Sindh has finally been given a full stop after Bashir Qureshi's demise. Do you think Asif Ali Zardari still has Sindh Crad? I think Sindh Card is no more..." He said. "I just need your comments on Sindh Card for daily Dawn," he added.

I just felt that someone added insult to my injuries.

There was a series of visitors from and on behalf of Islamabad / Rawalpindi between April 10 to May 18.

One such visitor was a massage carrier on behalf of General Headquarters (GHQ) of Pakistan Army. He wanted me either to quit civil and political rights activism or to join federal politics and get shifted to Islamabad and become part of Pakistan Army's Sindh Desk.

I simply told that Sargodhian (from Sargodha in Punjab) official that I would have loved to join politics especially the federal politics without Pakistan Army's suggestion if I wanted to. I told him that I've no plans to get shifted to Islamabad and join Pakistan Army's set-up. He said in that case, if I wanted my well being, I needed to do "stingless" activism. And, thus he narrated the meaning of "stingless" in details.

After a few days, he contacted again. "The Jin is still alive...You need to do stingless activism."


By the second week of April, two persons associated with Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) each, visited Institute for Social Movement (ISM) office. They said that I have written the speech of Bashir Qureshi, which he made on March 23, 2012 in Sindh Freedom March. I said, I would have loved to do that noble assignment, if given by Bashir Khan. Unfortunately, I was not given an opportunity to do that great work. They said, in that case, the speech must have been written by Sain Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo? "Why you want to under-estimate Bashir Qureshi? It must have been his own speech, or it must be carrying JSQM Central Committee's input," I replied.

They went on:

"Army is angry with President Zardari that he is a President and at the same time he has been in close contact with Sindhi separatists ... Anyway, since now the chapter of Sindh Freedom Movement is over, we want Sindhi intellectuals to contribute for the Pakistan politics. Get ready to work with us in changing Pakistan and giving input in Foreign Policy...." "I am sorry, I cannot just do that," I replied.

Another visit to ISM office. "Oh..You have worm of giving an international feel about Sindh rights, now we will manage you as a Ambassador of Sindh on our own Agenda," he said. "Go to hell rascals, get out of this place," I replied.


Early 2011:

"If we give financial assistance to ISM, would ISM like to organise mammoth rallies in across Sindh against Droning by USA? in Tribal Areas of Pakistan" said MI officials.

"I don't think that USA is doing wrong....If majority Pashtuns have no problem with that, why we Sindhis should have problem."... "Besides, how did you think of making this offer to ISM and me?"



US Embassy's Media Officer:

"Pakistan has betrayed us...they are playing against us by supporting Al-Qaida and other such elements...They provided hide-outs to Osama Bin Laden, who violated our sovereignty; however they are creating noise of sovereignty on the drone strikes...persons like you should talk on the issues like this..."

"Is USA and its Pentagon so naïve that Pakistan is playing with against and you guys kept on have to get changed (I meant the policy change)," I replied.

"Hnnnh" she replied probably angrily and sarcastically.



"Can ISM and you work without financial resources? You won't get resources until you accept ISI's conditions," ISI official born in Gujranwala, living in Islamabad and working with an international donor agency asked me.

"Rest assure, in that case, I would prefer to take funding from Israel based donor agencies, if any, not from you guys," I replied.

Same person, in another meeting at Indus Hotel, Hyderabad in 2012:
"Do you think, Kiyaani has did right when he took an Indian lady journalist to Siachin Glacier?"

"Its your affair, however what's wrong in that," I replied.

"Do you think NATO weapons have been supplied to MQM from Karachi shipyard?" He asked.

"I don't know personally; however I have also heard these rumors," I replied.

"We have heard that in your friends circle, while in a limited social gathering, someone said that MQM flags are hoisted in Agra city of India?" he asked. "I don't remember exactly, but I guess someone said this somewhere in a social gathering," I replied.

"What would you do if ISM is closed down?" he asked. "I'll establish ISM outside Pakistan and do the same," I replied.

"Where?" He asked.

"Probably in USA," I replied with laughter.


"We have heard that PILER is facilitating human trafficking between in India and Pakistan?" a person associated with Pakistani establishment asked?

Lol. "Has ISI withdrawn undertaking this task, you mean to say," I replied.


2011: In PIA flight from Karachi to Islamabad:

General Naqvi (GN): Hello Youngman, your introduction, please?


General Naqvi: I am Gen (rtd) Naqvi.

Me: Oh, I see. Nice to see you.

GN: Civilians are corrupt. What do you think if Pakistan Army establish some NGOs through its retired officials in all the four provinces in Pakistan, would it be better?

Me: Can military forgive at least one component of civilians?

GN: We have suggested Gen. Musharaf to return and start doing politics. What do you think?

Me: In that case, I would say he needs no enemies since he has plenty of friends who keep on destroy him.

GN: I have a few hundred acres land in your area of intervention. May I seek your support if and when I require regarding the locals?

Me: This doesn't suit a military General!

After a couple of years while protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, someone said:

"Gen. Naqvi's niece is in the city. I can arrange her meeting with you so that your issue may be resolved." "Sorry. I have no intention to have a meeting with Pakistan Army / Establishment's persons," I replied.



Lahore High Court Bar Council waiting for the speech of Justice Iftekhar Chaudhry. Someone, sitting beside, talked about the politics of Sindh. A good old man. Who are you, Sir? I asked him. I am half Sindhi, he replied. Half Sindhi? I asked. Yeah, I have my agriculture lands in Ghotki. Besides, I am a member of central team of Pakistan Peoples Party, which is mainly Sindh based, he replied.
Ahaan? I saw him with strange eyes. "I am General (rtd) Naseer Akhtar," he replied.


Meeting with a PPP Parliamentarian:

"Raisani (Senator and brother of Balochistan CM) is resigning from PPP. It won't be in favour of PPP. Ask someone to intervene," I said.

"Don't worry, we would take care," he replied.

After Prime Ministers Gilani's meeting with Raisani, I was asked by someone linked with MQM:

"You should have said that (talk regarding Raisani) to any Sindhi parliamentarian. Why you told this to a non-Sindhi?"

"I don't consider Urdu-speakers (of Sindh) non Sindhis," I replied.


Tariq Fateh did his kindness of visiting us at Press Club Delhi during our protest sit-in against Pakistan High Commission. He called after one month again. "Attend an event at Jammia Millya Islamya in Delhi. High Commissioner of Pakistan in Delhi would also be there. I would try to get your issue resolved," he said.

"I am in no mood to see any of the Pakistani representatives. Don't expect any such thing from my side. It is your kindness that you even thought of it," I replied.


"No work permission. No work. No financial support. How would you survive in Delhi?" someone asked.

"I will survive," I replied.

(This is highly brief write-up. The details would come one day for sure)

Zulfiqar Shah, New Delhi, India April 21, 2015