This is an email sent by Mr. Awais Sheikh from Sweden. He was a Lawyer from Pakistan who attended the case of slain Sarabjit Singh, worked and suffered for his release and 32 other Indian prisoners in Pakistan jail. Today, he lives in Sweden with his family.
His work reminds us of young Mohandas K. Gandhi, as a Barrister fighting for the indentured labourers in South Africa century ago.
His story is heart touching and poignant of many of our own agony. His sufferings must end with the grace of God and prayer from those who believe in the justice of humanity.
WHEN MY FAITH IN HUMANITY WAS TESTED
Thanks UNO/UNHCR for taking note of my abduction and physical torture, while I was representing the cases of Indian prisoners in the court of law. Thanks SWEDEN for granting permanent stay along with family, also providing all facilities and safeguards.
My life in Pakistan was constantly under threat even after my kidnapping and physical torture. The letter of Human Rights Commission-Pakistan urging Chief Minister Mr. Najam Sethi to provide security to "Awais Sheikh" was totally ignored. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested but I did not give up myself to despair.
My salute to Mr. Justice Ijaz AHmad Chaudhry,C.J Lahore High court and Mr. Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik who kept the torch of justice to lit high. Their order to release all 32 Indian prisoners who have completed their awarded sentence is a land mark in the history of two conflict ridden countries of South Asia, Pakistan and India.... something that I can feel proud to have achieved being counsel of Indian prisoners. I express my deep sympathies and condolences to the family of Sarabjit Singh on his unfortunate demise.
Highly regret the families of Indian prisoners that I would not be able to represent cases of their loved ones pending for adjudication in the courts, particularly the family of sepoy Mangal Singh of 14 Punjab Regiment who is POW of 1971 war. I met him in Central Jail-Lahore with the permission of Home Secretary. Mangal Singh recognized his photograph in uniform with family. With bitter sweet feelings he said " Haan haan ye meri photo hae." He told me he was sentenced for 24 years. Ironically the report/parawise comments submitted in court by Inspector General police (I.G.Prison) states that Mangal Singh was sentenced for three months imprisonment on illegal crossing border, that he has completed his term of imprisonment and now placed on internment.
This is most unfortunate that both countries detain POWs of 1971 but deny their presence in their custody. This is war crime. Such prisoners are to be treated as prisoners of war under Geneva Convention and to be afforded the protection and rights stipulated under Geneva Convention. They have to be freed after cease fire. Unless any one country in conflict gives her consent, case can not be filed in International Court of Justice against this grave violation of International Law and Human Rights. My intention in referring the case of Mangal Singh is not to defame Pakistan but to remind and convince both countries to realize their moral and international obligations and free all POWs with immediate effect.
My friend Prof. Bhim Singh is courageously representing the cases of Pakistani prisoners in Indian courts. I wish him all the success. I miss my friends in Pakistan who silently supported my cause and thankful to media friends who courageously reported the cases of Indian prisoners I represented in courts. So grateful to the people of India and the Indian media who stood besides me throughout my struggle for the release of prisoners. Also thanks for raising voice against my kidnapping and extending sympathies towards me and my family. Equally grateful to my friends all over the world for their support, appreciations and encouragement , that will remain be a source of inspiration wherever I am, wherever I go. I wish prosperity to the people of Pakistan and India and firmly stand with them in their quest for peace and harmony between the two countries.
Today when I am inhabitant of SWEDEN, I recall the historic messages of great leaders of South Asia Mahatma Gandhi and Quaid e Azam Jinnah for their newly born nations India and Pakistan. " WE WANT THE END OF MUTUAL QUARRELS AND STAND FOR PEACE. WHILE REALIZING OUR INTERNATIONAL COMMITMENTS, WE APPEAL TO BOTH COUNTRIES TO FORGET THE BITTERNESS OF THE PAST AND START LIVING LIKE GOOD NEIGHBOURS. "
Let us all join hands to fulfill the dream of our great leaders. SAY NO TO WAR, YES TO PEACE. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE. PAK INDIA AWAM DOSTI ZINDABAD IN PRAISE OF PEOPLE and NATURE.
Sweden, where everything is amazing. Very friendly loving people, breathtaking natural scenery, worlds purist air, worlds purist water, pine forests, rock plains and rivers, islands, abandoned park land, lake shore beaches. In summer, during midnight sun celebrations when sun does not set in North, 25000 people sing in chorus. Nations still in conflict can learn from Sweden who followed the path of peace, established a system based on equality, rule of law, justice, freedom, democracy, love of mankind. .... a poor nation turned into a welfare state.
Pak-India Peace Initiatives
World Peace Ambassador
[My book SAMJHOTA EXPRESS (4th edition) will be published in India on December 2013.]