The shock and heartbreak a mother suffers after seeing her children in miserably unrecognisable conditions cannot be underestimated.
Within 24 hours of meeting her two children, previously ‘missing’ prisoners in the Adiala jail saga, Rohaifa, the petitioner in the shocking case, died of cardiac arrest on Tuesday.
After a sleepless night following the meeting, 60-year-old Rohaifa developed a heartache. She had earlier witnessed the disturbing sight of her sons, Abdul Majid and Abdul Basit, looking emaciated in tatters, with urine bags protruding out of their trousers.
“She kept talking about Majid and Basit and was weeping since she returned after the meeting,” said one of Rohaifa’s five sons, Abdul Shakoor. Three of them were among the 11 men who went missing from Adiala jail. They were later found in the custody of intelligence agencies.
Rohaifa had already suffered an earlier heartbreak.
Last month, of the 11 missing prisoners, four bodies were discovered in Peshawar. One of them was her other son, Abdul Saboor.
She lost her life before she lost her hope, however. At the hearing on Monday, the slogan she raised in court was “Long live the chief justice”. She had hoped for justice in her last hours. “You can see how they have tortured my sons,” she had pleaded, addressing the chief justice.
Rohaifa’s body was taken to her native town of Kohat district, where she will be buried today (Wednesday).
The next hearing of the missing persons’ case in the Supreme Court is on March 1, 2012. Tariq Asad, Rohaifa’s counsel, was clear that her death was the result of the pain she suffered on seeing her tortured sons. Therefore, he said, the responsibility for her death lay with the concerned officials in these agencies. Asad said he would ask the court for stern action against them at the next hearing.
(Read: Missing persons case)
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2012.