Two disappearances… and a suicide

Zeenat-%22Quaid and daughter of Quaid%22 2014

Zeenat Shehzadi: “Quaid and daughter of Quaid” – her own caption, 2014.

Tragic news from Salman Lateef, brother of the young Lahore-based journalist Zeenat Shehzadi who was trying to help the Indian national Hamid Ansari in detention in Pakistan — and herself has been missing since the morning of 19 August 2015. Zeenat and Salman’s younger brother Saddam Hussain, 18 years old, who had been pining for his ‘Api’, killed himself last night – hung himself from a tree near their house. They’ve taken him to their village Sheikhupura / Manawan for burial after Friday prayers. Can’t bear to think of the parents.


Another tragedy: Zeenat Shehzadi’s beloved younger brother Saddam Hussain, 18, missed his Api terribly. He took his own life last night.

Salman was beside himself, couldn’t stop crying. He said that Saddam often asked about Zeenat – he was her special favorite and she would never let anyone scold or hurt him. ‘Humarey paeron taley zameen nickal gayi hai, ham barbad ho gaye…inn logon ko kab sharam aye gi…’ (the earth has gone from under our feet, we are destroyed… when will these people feel any shame). He said the police had come to the hospital and taken the family’s statement that Saddam killed himself in despair about Zeenat ‘but who knows what report they’ll make’ 

For details on Zeenat and Hamid’s case, see my article in The News on Sunday, Of two disappearances: (Feb 28, 2016)  Pakistan should release Indian national Hamid Ansari who has already spent more than three years in detention — and the young journalist Zeenat Shehzadi who was trying to help him.

In brief:  Zeenat Shehzadi’s disappearance:  Plainclothes men had detained Zeenat after she talked to the Indian high commissioner at a public event in Lahore on August 12, 2015. They interrogated her for several hours and let her go with a warning to not pursue Hamid Ansari’s case. She was shaken when she reached home but determined to pursue the cause of justice, says her younger brother Salman Lateef, 22. She told her family not to worry if anything happened to her, but of course they have been worried sick (literally) since her disappearance six months ago. On Aug. 19 morning, unidentified men in a white car (registration no. HK 286, traced to an individual in Islamabad) picked her up from a bus stop near her house in Lahore. She has been missing since. Her family lodged FIR no. 1080 on Aug 21, 2015 at Nishtar Town police station, Lahore.
Some other reports in media:

2 Responses

  1. I have been a human rights activist all my life.
    The stories of disappearances make even a strong heart sink. Trying to trace the helpless missing persons is most noble pursuit. I have read your bIog. I hold you in great respect for having the courage to stand up and chase the dark shadows who steal free men and women and turn them into missing person.
    Yours is a dangerous pursuit but worth in itself.


  2. […] over two years ago, has been recovered. A brief re-cap of what happened and how her case is linked to that of a young Indian man whose case she had been following after his […]


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