April 28, 2010

Journalist seeks protection

Mr. Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani
Prime Minister of Pakistan
PM Secretariat
Constitution Avenue
Islamabad, Pakistan.

Dear Sir,

I am working as a journalist for over fifteen years in the mainstream newspapers of the country. Currently, I am affiliated with the daily Dawn in Islamabad. Besides my journalistic duty, I have been writing poetry, plays, short stories and essays for self-catharsis in a tyrant and oppressive environment. I am working on a novel – The Terrorland – partially set in the (tribal) area between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It deals with extremism and terrorism in South Asia.

Besides other aspects, I have tried to explore intellectual terrorism by characterizing some unscrupulous journalists and personnel of intelligence agencies in the era of military dictators. The about 1,000-page creative work also discusses the traditional working style of different state organs including the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI).

The mindset of our military is changing according to the needs of the new age. Today, our armed forces are more professional and global than few years back. In such a situation, my fiction is aimed at bridging the gap between East and West especially Pakistan and the United States as the protagonists belong to both countries fighting global terrorism as partners.

However, copy of my unedited fiction has been obtained by secret agencies with the help of some racist and sectarian bent of mind colleagues (who have special relations with rogue elements and had been torturing me in different ways including depriving me of salary for months and appointment letter for years, tampering with my documents and declaring me an American agent). They have assumed my novel as a history book which is an intellectual dilemma in the 21st century. After character assassination campaigns through different networks—I have been declared a “fifth column” and isolated in the society: first at office, then in the journalist and local communities in a systematic way.

I am being intimidated in different ways. There have been attempts on my life and I am locked inside my home since March 29, 2010. My phone calls, text messages and emails are being bugged/intercepted while on complain, the service providers apologized, saying that they are helpless to stop the illegal practices of the powerful secret agencies.


My family is facing crimes against humanity in a time when your elected government is in power. We are being harassed in different ways. An attempt was made to kill my younger sister in an engineered honour-related case at the Karakoram International University (KIU) in Gilgit city on March 22. Since then, she has been stopped from attending classes illegally. Another sister is also being tortured on campus. The KIU is the only university in the strategically important Gilgit-Baltistan region – bordering China, India and Afghanistan – which is literally run by secret agencies. Recent honor-related cases have shown that the terrorizing university administration is destined to ruin carriers of innocent students on political, racial, sectarian and personal grounds. The KIU is producing a new breed of Taliban having university degrees and Western appearances.

My elderly parents are under stress in the hostile society. Most of our relatives and friends are scared to contact us. We are receiving threat-calls. Evidences show that there is a mass murder plan of my family members starting with me – target-killers and suspicious persons are often seen around in my unsafe neighbourhood in Rawalpindi – which the perpetrators may declare as suicide, accident, terror attack, kidnapping for ransom or robbery etc. in their traditional way as it happens to a family at one point in my novel. I am also afraid, because, two working journalists had died in suspicious circumstances at the Karachi and Lahore offices of our media group while the Islamabad office has become famous as a “safe-house” of some spy agencies.

We are a patriotic family having a long history of sacrifices for the country. We have no general in our family but three of our generations have served the nation since independence. My younger brother got martyrdom while defending the nation as a member of the Pakistan Army. With such a background, it is a matter of shame that I am being victimized for writing about the nexus of some evildoer journalists and officials of secret agencies – a terrorizing cult that considers itself above the laws and professional ethics in the country – in a liberal way. I have always written honestly and in good faith, thinking my journalistic and creative writings a service to our reforming country in the age of globalization. But I was not aware of it that my fiction would be taken negatively and we would come under criminal attacks.

I, therefore, as a tax-paying citizen of Pakistan, request you in your position as head of the federal government to provide me and my family protection. Kindly establish an independent commission to investigate into the criminal acts against me and my family. You suffered in jail when a military regime was in power and the atrocities against us seems a conspiracy against your democratic government.

Yours faithfully,

Habib R. Sulemani
Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Copies to:
1- The President of Pakistan
2- Chief Justice of Pakistan
3- Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan
4- Human rights and professional bodies


From: Habib Sulemani habib.sulemani@yahoo.com
To: abbas.nasir@dawn.com
Cc: zafar.abbas@dawn.com
Sent: Thu, April 8, 2010 2:35:13 AM
Subject: Dawn Islamabad colleagues may kill me

Mr. Abbas Nasir
Daily Dawn,
Karachi , Pakistan .

Dear Sir,

The lives of my family members and me are in danger. If we’re killed, the racist and sectarian bent of mind people at Dawn Islamabad and their unscrupulous friends at the Karakorum International University (KIU) Gilgit and personnel of intelligence agencies (“who have set up an operation camp at the library”) would be responsible for the crime.

I had been informing you from time to time how I was being victimized at workplace over the years but they didn’t stop their inhuman ways. Through a secret plan, they isolated me at office and then in the local journalist community through their effective propaganda campaigns. And then their criminal network tried to kill my sister in a fake honor-related case at the KIU. So far they’ve failed but they want to hide their crime.

Now they want to kill me and declare it a suicide, accident or an incident of robbery or terror attack etc as their hit-and-run unit tried on March 28. Who can dare to put a hand on the powerful editorial management of this mighty newspaper in the federal capital? No one dares to reveal the inside story although it is an open secret!

I know that my life is in danger, therefore, I want to make the record straight so that, if something happens to me or any member of my family here in Rawalpindi-Islamabad or my native Gilgit-Baltistan region, then Zaffar Abbas, resident editor Dawn Islamabad; Farman Ali, news editor; Adeel Raza, edition in-charge Islamabad; Rehan Yousuf, edition in-charge Frontier; Anwer Mansuri (the father), assistant editor; Yasir Mansuri (the son), sub-editor; Tariq Hasaan, sub-editor; Zar Alam, sub-editor; Aamir Wasim, staff reporter; Munawar Azeem, crime reporter; Chaudhry Ishaq, photographer and others would be responsible for the organized crime.

Yours truly,

Habib R. Sulemani
Daily Dawn, Islamabad.


Mr. Pervaiz Shaukat
Pakistan Federal Union Of Journalists
12-Nazimuddin Road, F-6/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan.

Dear Sir,

As a former colleague, you know that I am working as a journalist for over 15 years in the mainstream newspapers. Currently, I am affiliated with the daily Dawn in Islamabad. I have been victimized for years for being an upright journalist who always raised voice against unscrupulous people who abused the platform of the media.

Here I want to inform you formally that my life is in danger. I have requested the government to provide me and my family protection but there is no response so far. My Editor is also silent.

I am not disappointed by President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani and Army Chief General Kayani. But my voice is not reaching them as my tormentors are very powerful, having God-like image in the terrorized society. They believe “we can make or break” a government in the country.

You know it very well that respected journalists – especially during election campaigns of the National Press Club Islamabad and Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists – are treated worse than animals on the Dawn Islamabad premises. However, members of intelligence agencies are being welcomed and used against a journalist like me. It is a shameful thing in the history of journalism in Pakistan.

The editorial liberty is being misused at Dawn. Members of the Islamabad editorial management are directly or indirectly running their so-called NGOs, some are working for other national and international organizations (plus sectarian and racial groups as some colleagues say).

I, therefore, seek your help as the leading organization of working journalists in the country to help me in getting protection. I also seek an independent investigation into the criminal charges against the editorial management of Dawn.

Yours faithfully,

Habib R. Sulemani
Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Copies to
1- National Press Club Islamabad
2- Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists
3- Senior journalists, friends and others.


Ms. Asma Jilani Jahangir
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Lahore, Pakistan.

Dear Madam,

I am a journalist working with the daily Dawn in Islamabad. The secret agencies and some colleagues want to kill me and I had requested the government to provide me and my family protection but there is no response so far. My employers are also silent. After attempts on my life, I am locked inside my home in Rawalpindi since March 29, 2010.

The in-house environment is pathetic and the editorial liberty given to the editorial management by the owners of the Dawn Media Group is being abused criminally.

I, therefore, seek your help as the leading human rights organization of Pakistan – having some renowned journalists as office-bearers – to help me in getting protection and independent investigations into the matter so that I with my family get justice.

Yours faithfully,

Habib R. Sulemani


  1. Well, whatever these people are doing with you is not good for them. The presdient and prime minister should help you and provide you security.

  2. Sher Baig: Best of luck my dear brother. We are proud of you. You are always for rights of people and justice in the country. We need such a good educated and sincere Pakistani, like you, and the people of Gilgit-Baltistan salute you.

  3. This is really shocking, if true. I am speechless

  4. Aslam Khan GhalibMay 4, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    The expressions of the renown journalist Habib Sulemani in THE TERRORLAND (A liberal forum to discuss intellectual terrorism and the mass media, a taboo subject, in Pakistan)clearly depict that his life and possessions have been under a great risk. It is well said that truth tastes bitter..................His truthfulne...

    Being a creative journalist Habib Sulemani is not only breaking and making words rather floating concrete based ideas from time to time keeping in view the harsh realities which remain indigestible for the interest groups which have been continuously threatening him and his family

    Habib Sulemani's approach as a neutral observer and not being a political activist like the so called journalists in the country further aggrandizes his personality as a big mountain full of knowledge and innovations.

    The intricate situation created for Habib Sulemani by some interest groups is condemnable. To my knowledge Habib Sulemani is a devoted and committed journalist of the country without being biased. .

    (Aslam Khan Ghalib says this from Afghanistan on Facebook page of the Webmaster)

  5. Hi Sulemani sb, m deeply shocked to hear this all. is there anything i can do for you? m in pak, will be leaving soon. let me know if i can be of any help. Allah Hafiz. (by mail).

  6. Fighting for truth and right is even your own shadow can leave you alone but we are proud from your devotion and the scale of aim, you gonna reach. Best WISHES

  7. Friends must read the story of Mr. Sulemani...the story shows the true democracy in our country. He is very right, as the action taken by the administration of KIU was baseless. There are many many elements behind this scene...

    Habib Bhai..be brave and fight against evil, we know you can do it and we are proud of you. (Facebook)

  8. Zahid Buneray MalgarayLeekwal posted:

    [Mr. Sulemani is a Pakistani journalist who also writes poetry and fiction. His novel, The Terrorland, on which he has been working for years, is in the editing stage. After attempts on his life, he is locked inside his home in Rawalpindi since March 29, 2010. Neither the government nor his employers have done anything so far despite requests for providing him and his family members security.

    In a letter to human rights and professional bodies, Mr. Sulemani writes: “Freedom of thought and expression is still a slogan in our part of the world. If the Pakistani, American, British and allied governments, partners in fighting global terrorism, want to win the war, then they must address intellectual terrorism first.”]


    NOW, Pakistan is in the state of war, and such writing/fiction work could create more chaos.

    Maybe, these are some attempts from his side to gain popularity for his up coming novel/work.
    = by JuPiTeR


    I think it is a normal practice in pakistan, no need to complain about. Just one missing person will be added to the list. = by Erlangner Nazawalay


    I agree with JuPiTeR that: "Maybe, there are some attempts from his side to gain popularity for his up coming novel/work."

    To make something a hit, make it controversial. Or is he planning to file for assylum? It's a good ploy to create an impression that my life is under threat, and then file for assylum.
    = by Toorzan Khan Ashna

    (THE TERRORLAND is an unbiased platform, which makes it different in cyber journalism in Pakistan, and welcomes criticism. Webmaster picked this discussion from the Global Hujra website: http://www.khyberwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?8465-The-terrorland&p=86495)

  9. I am upset to hear about this all. I did call S. Karim to know more about it but he also is not very clear.

    Can you please tell us what is your perception about this issue? How is Habib Bhai?

    Please give my best regards to him and send your cell phone number to me so that I know more about it.

    Best regards,

  10. Sulemani sab, there is no freedom of speech and expression in our country…, any way keep cross fingers you will be the victor!

  11. Dear Habib,

    I hope this email will find you safe and sound. Today i went through your blog and learned about about the situation you are facing at the moment. believe me i was totally blind about all this. as you were already an isolated individual therefore we were not interfaring in your personal maters. but it was not in my knowledge that you have faced such problems mentioned in the letter you have written to the Prime Minister of Pakistan. your profession is your passion but please be carefull if there are such threats for you and your family. this will be my humble suggestion to spend some days at your home town unless the environment is not friendly for you and your family. I pray for your good health and long life.

    with best regards and wishes

    A. Waheed


    HABIB R. SULEMANI replies:

    Dear Waheed,

    Thank you very much for your email and suggestion amid threats, and propaganda campaigns at different levels in the society. I'm sorry for not being able to give my relatives and friends sufficient time. You know being a working journalist and creative writer at the same time demands a lot of time and concentration. Creative work needs isolation and my novel is not only a service to our country but also to the world at large. So your sacrifices are as great as mine. Convey my regards to everyone at home. Be blessed.



  12. Dear habib
    Its my personal opinion that you r one of the renowned journalist of Pakistan, especially an intellectual of so-called Gilgit-Baltistan.We are proud of your creativity as well as your intellect. life and death is business of Allah almighty its not a business of Pakistani ISI or any individual. so please keep your excellent work for the betterment of society in general and humanity for particular.we will prayer for your precious life as well as we are anxiously waiting for your new novel.
    best regards

    shehzad alam
    student of journalism in forman christian college lahore

  13. HABIB R. SULEMANI replies:

    Dear Mr. Alam,

    Thank you very much for the comments. The truth is that I’m a poor working journalist facing tyranny and injustices in my own country. My tormentors had worked on their sinister plan for months—they contacted, directly or indirectly, many people and trapped some of my relatives to use against me—thanks to the cyber age that my cry reached the world—otherwise I would have been killed with my family members so far. I’m still locked inside my home. Unfortunately, there is no response from the government so far.

    As the whole world is monitoring my case, now, the criminal gang has started a new propaganda campaign against me. As the communist regime used to declare their opponents ‘schizophrenic’ in Russia so are the comrades doing here today.

    “They’ve declared you ‘mentally retarded’ and a ‘lone wolf’— don’t you see the repeated use of the words in the paper nowadays?” someone said who had an argument with a member of the gang.

    “This is not new to me,” I said. “I’m used to their traditional shenanigans. They had used this trick in the past by tampering with my documents—that is why they’re afraid of facing an independent investigation. My allegations are not baseless.”

  14. Dear brother

    thank u for informing of urs troubles, threads and tortuturing in the hands of some journalists and other organs of the country. these are very shameful activities on the part of so called journalists which are against the fundamental rights of a citizen and I strongly condemn and being a lawyer assure u that i shall stand with u at the every moment of life. I shall raise urs voice at the level of our bars and in the human rights organisations locally and internationally.
    with best regards

  15. Did not specify the exact nature of
    racist and sectarian threats. What exactly happened, when, who was involved, evidence etc will help. Best wishes,

  16. This is really a great post. Everyone was shocked the way she spoke after becoming chief of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA)…

    According to neutral people, Asma Jahangir is the head of the human rights mafia.

    The Terrorland blogers say that when the ISI-hatched assassination plot of journalist Habib R. Sulemani was exposed after attempts on his life, Mr Sulemni wrote to Mrs Jahangir, who was then head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). But she didn’t respond because Zaffar Abbas of Dawn had “silenced” her in his typical “civilized” way!!!


  17. Best of luck my dear brother. We are proud of you. You are always for rights of people and justice in the country. We need such a good educated and sincere Pakistani, like you, and the people of Gilgit-Baltistan salute you. i m working as chairman action committee at PSK KIU. now a days i m studying ur case very carefully. as soon as possible i will work for truth

  18. Habib, your case has exposed all the so called liberal cleans, instead of writing an answer to your letter, Asma Jehangir left the HRCP's headship and a gentleman Dr Mehdi Hassan was made the chief, but he soon realized the conspiracy and left the HRCP and Ms Jehangir and her sister brought a new puppet chief Zohra Yusuf, try to bring all the culprits and conspirators to justice, my prayers are with you and your family.

  19. It seems that seeking asylum in west suits you best, any way circumstantial approach reveals a well laid intention.
    Good Luck.
    However posting date suggest that some goon has brought this pretty stale, out of date attempt to malign the country in the glory of Yellow Journalism.
    By now all the family may well be set in Washington.
    Good scam man.
    best regards to all.

  20. calling all muslims arabic ppls and everyone else media jihad, media struggle is the key. support the planetary patriot now. http://lulu.com/spotlight/planetpatriot