Many Pakistani nationals have been sentenced to death or life imprisonment in different countries throughout the world, on account of various crimes. The agony of their family members in Pakistan cannot be described in words.
Rafia Bibi, 70, is an unlucky Pakistani woman, who lost her son in China, after the Chinese Supreme Court sentenced him to death.
Besides other human wishes, seeing loved ones before their death is one of the most important desires of every person, but Rafia was one of those mothers who could not see her son, when he was passing through the final stages of his life.
“In my mind, my son is still in front of me, and he will remain alive in my dreams,” said Rafia, with tears in her eyes.
Rafia’s son, Syed Zahid Hussain, was a 30-year-old resident of Haripur, Pakistan. He had a business importing and exporting jewellery in Thailand, and visited China in connection with a business deal.
Narrating the fateful story, which has ruined the lives of Zahid,s family members, Rafia said in December 2008, Zahid went to China and planned to stay there for four days, along with five or six of his business partners. “One morning, Chinese police officials implicated Zahid in a drug case, after his partners levelled false allegations against him, of being involved in drug trafficking.” She said they wanted to take revenge on him, because of some business issues.
“I don’t believe my son could do such an act. The Chinese police did not find heroin or any other drug in my son’s possession,” Rafia said.
The tormented mother didn’t truly know whether her son had committed the crime or not, but what upset her very much is that the government of Pakistan did nothing to even try help him. Zahid was a Pakistani national, he grew up here but no government authority took action to save him, nor did they even try to make any appeal to China at the governmental level.
“At that time, Chinese authorities told us that if the Government of Pakistan made an appeal to them, Zahid’s death sentence could be averted or delayed.” Rafia said that, had the Pakistani government made a plea to China, her son might still be alive.
Various people made repeated appeals to the prime minister and the president of Pakistan, but they took no action.
Zahid was my cousin and my fiancee. I met Ansar Barni and other human rights activist organizations to seek help, but we failed to save Zahid.
A number of Pakistani prisoners, still being held in Chinese jails, could get relief if the Pakistani authorities chose to help them.
The human rights organization, Ansar Barni Trust, tried to save Zahid but failed to do so. That organization is now trying to minimize the life imprisonment of Zahid’s co-accused, sentenced by the same court.
According to Muhammad Adnan, spokesman for the Ansar Barni Trust, there is no legislation under which Pakistani prisoners could be transferred to jails in their motherland.
Muhammad Adnan said even though there is no legal arrangement between the two countries, “We have appealed to the ambassadors of both countries to transfer Zahid’s co-accused to a Pakistani jail.”