It’s the third month since the administration of the Dawn Media Group, instead of providing me security and help, has illegally stopped my salary. Being the sole breadwinner of a family of nine members, it’s really a hard time for me and my family. But my parents and siblings all are determined to continue our legal struggle against the terrorists under the guise of journalists, government officers and spymasters.
As the summer vacation is going to end, my youngest sibling, Karim Rehman, 15, seems ready as if this time he could also be out of school due to non-payment of fees. Someone asked me why I was not selling the residential plot, which the government of Punjab had allotted me along with about 1,400 other journalists living in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. I smiled and showed him my letter to the provincial government.
Mr. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif
Chief Minister Punjab
The Chief Minister Secretariat
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
I’m among those working journalists who never had received any plot from any government, and accepted the RPCHS plot only because the Punjab Assembly – on February 23, 2004 – had legalized it through the PJHF Act.
I, therefore, request you to kindly grant me the correct Possession Slip according to the original official site plan immediately so that I could start construction of my proposed house.
February 26, 2010
1- Governor Punjab.
2- Chief Secretary Punjab Government.
3- Secretary Information, Culture & Youth Affairs Punjab Government.
4- Managing Director PJHF.
5- Management Committee RPCHS.
6- President Rawalpindi Press Club/ National Press Club Islamabad.
7- President Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ).
8- President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).
"Umm, the officials of the Press Club (Afzal Butt, Asim Qadeer Rana, Mushtaq Minhas etc) along with some unknown guys dressed in white shalwar qameez."
He nodded. Then I showed him another letter which I had written earlier to the office-bearers of the Press Club but couldn’t get answer for some unknown reason!
Mr. Mushtaq Minhas
Rawalpindi Press Club Housing Scheme
Media Town, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
With reference to my conversations with you, I'm formally requesting you, to kindly grant me correct Possession Slip of Plot-1, allotted to me in Block-B of the Media Town in Rawalpindi, according to the Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency-made site-plan. I'll be very thankful to you for this act of kindness.
Allottee of Plot-1, Block-B,
Media Town, Rawalpindi,
February 19, 2010
1) Mr. Shoaib Bin Aziz
Managing Director PJHF/
Secretary Information, Culture & Youth Affairs (IC&YA)
Government of the Punjab.
2) Mr. Afzal Butt
President Rawalpindi Press Club/
National Press Club Islamabad
"I mean," he tried to explain, "they didn't invite you to the Prime Minister House (on March 23, 2010) during the oath-taking ceremony (of the new cabinet of the National Press Club Islamabad), a conspiracy to isolate you in the (journalist) community!"
I shrugged but said nothing although I wanted to tell him all about the mysterious situation at office in those days.
"You will not get justice, Mr. Sulemani," he announced.
"Why?" I asked in surprise. "But I firmly believe in our judicial system."
"I know that," he said, "but to get justice is not easy for the 70 percent poor citizens in Pakistan. They can't afford to hire even a lawyer."
I was confused.
"But," he continued, "the actual problem now is how would you keep both ends meet?"
"I don’t know," I said. "But I've not lost faith as usual; miracles can happen even in the 21st century Islamic Republic!"
"Be a realist!" the grim faced man advised. "What will you do really? You're under house arrest for over four months now."
"Umm, I really don’t know! May be, my father will sell a piece of land to meet our needs if the secret agencies didn't interfere directly or indirectly! But one thing is certain: as our tormentors are determined to punish us till the end—so are we to fight back and bring the terror to an end!"
1- The official site plan of the Rawalpindi Press Club Housing Scheme as my D-shaped residential plot – 1/B, almost double in size – has been highlighted.
2- The misleading possession slip of the residential plot.
3- After a long silence I got the first letter from the Punjab government which shows the lukewarm official action.
(Images by The Terrorland Team)