For a TTP chief’s widow, terrorist activities meant saving her marriage

Little Dujana will either be stuck in jail with his mother or sent to her family in Punjab.

Faraz Khan December 25, 2011


They named their son Dujana after a valiant Companion from the early days of Islam. Their hope was that he would follow in the footsteps of his father, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s chief in Karachi, Qari Shahid, who was shot dead two weeks ago.

Dujana now plays by his mother’s side in an 8 by 14 foot room in the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC). Shahid’s 25-year-old widow Sabiha was netted in the encounter – one of the rare occasions when a woman has been arrested with links to terrorists.

AVCC SP Ghulam Subhani says that Shahid was a journalist and a member of the Karachi Press Club. He had a MA degree from the University of Karachi and had worked for the Jamaat-e-Islami for eight years.

With a black shawl draped over her head, Sabiha told The Express Tribune that her husband, Qari Shahid, had wanted their son to follow his footsteps. She said her husband had named the child after one of the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) companions, Abu Dujana Sammak bin Kharsha (RA), who was known for his bravery.

Now Dujana’s future hangs in the loop - he lost his father in a police encounter in Korangi a couple of weeks ago, when the AVCC and the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) were carrying out a raid in a search to find industrialist Riaz Chinoy.

As she reached out for her child, Sabiha went back in time, narrating the story of how she had met Shahid.

My brother, Abdul Samad Javed, met Shahid while at jihad in Kashmir, she said. “The two of them became good friends and wanted to turn their friendship into rishtaydari (family relations) so my brother arranged our marriage.” The wedding took place in Karachi in 2009.

Sabiha was taken into police custody when she was found linked with at least nine of Shahid’s terrorist activities, including the attack on PNS Mehran and a blast in Sea View in November. She also helped Shahid shift Chinoy to their hideout and deliver bombs, according to the interrogation report. The police are unsure of what to do with Sabiha now. They say that the case started off as a simple one, but has become far too complicated. “So far we have booked her in the Riaz Chinoy kidnapping case and she was remanded into police custody for seven days,” said SP Subhani. “Let’s see what happens.”

For nearly a week now, Sabiha has been kept under surveillance in the room with investigators from all over the country popping in and out to ask her detailed questions about Shahid, her thoughts on Talibanisation and how she helped her husband in his terrorist plots.

Sabiha says she did not agree with some of the things her husband did, but she was a firm believer in jihad. “If I wasn’t married I would have gone for jihad,” she said. “I found out about Shahid’s terrorist activities soon after we got married but did not say anything to anyone because he was a good husband to me.”

Nervously pacing the room, Sabiha said that intelligence agencies had promised to let her go if she cooperated with them and told them the truth.“I have told them everything,” she said in an exhausted voice. “I have updated them about everything, starting from my childhood.” She is confused as to why she is still there and is forced to sit in front of “na mehram” men during interrogation.

“I started feeling guilty for what I had done,” she said in a defensive tone. “For the University of Karachi blast I had to hand over a packet which had the bomb. At that time I had no idea what the packet contained,” Sabiha said, adding that all she wanted was to save her marriage.

Despite Sabiha’s support for her husband, she is determined to make sure that her son does not become a terrorist. She wants him to become a doctor or engineer. However, no one knows what’s going to happen to little Dujana, as both his uncles were killed in drone attacks in Waziristan. Chances are that he will be in prison with his mother or sent to her family in Rajanpur.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2011.


Israr Ahmed | 9 years ago | Reply

Why are people commenting here trying to bring the name of JI here? Just because JI has been the only party that is democratic? or because it is the only party that stands in the way of evil that the secularists are trying to cause to the country? or because the corrupt mafias they represent (who by the way are the worst terrorists of all times, eg. MQM, ANP, Al Zoulfiqar PPP, GA Sindh, BLA etc) are killing humans every day and plundering the wealth of this nation like a bunch of gobbling skunks? Try to even utter one word of sanity and truth just for once. The world will look different.

saqib | 9 years ago | Reply

He then worked 8 years for Jamaat-e-Islami but also worked for Islami Jamiat Talba because as he had MA degree from University of Karachi means Jamaat-e-Islami's student wing support such alleged terrorist and might be possible that he was being trained there in student life ..shame

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