A mother’s pain: Mai Jindo is not sure if it was all worth it

Published: March 12, 2012
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Mai Jindo says she wept for twenty years. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Mai Jindo says she wept for twenty years. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: Mai Jindo has been haunted by some dreadful memories for nearly two decades. In a case that was widely reported by Dawn newspaper, a group of 15 army personnel kidnapped and later executed nine villagers from Tando Bahawal in 1992. The dead included Mai’s two sons, Bahadur and Manthar, and a son-in-law, Haji Akram. The culprits were convicted and court marshaled, and Major Arshad Jameel Awan, who was the leader of the group, was also sentenced to death.

But justice did not come that easily to Mai Jindo, who is now in her 70s. Two of her daughters, Hakimzadi and Zaibunissa, had to set themselves on fire in order to get authorities to take up their brothers cases.

Mai Jindo and other women of her village were invited by the Sindh National Movement to a programme related to the International Women’s Day at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday. Mai got a thunderous round of applause when she got up to speak. “A woman can do anything she wants, if only she is committed to it,” she exclaimed.

Mai is leading a very miserable life these days. While others see her as a symbol against oppressors, she has lost all breadwinners in her family. “I have wept for twenty years. Not a lot of people can understand the kind of pain I am going through.” For her, the memories are still quite fresh. “I got justice and people honour me for my sacrifices, but it has not made my life any more comfortable.”

“People tell me that it’s women’s day today. The government of Benazir Bhutto is in power and helping poor women. But I feel that I am being punished for some unknown reason.” She requested the government to get her grandson a job, so that her remaining family can provide for itself.

Mai lauded the role played by the Sindhi print media, especially Daily Kawish, in helping her quest to get justice.

Those who attended the event seemed to be quite impressed by Mai’s personality, and the suffering she has gone through over the years. One visitor, Sakina, said that women like Mai are role models for the new generation. “She strived and got justice in a period when there was neither a free media nor an independent judiciary. I am proud that people of such character are still present in our society.”

Another woman, Zainab Khatoon, lamented that society had never valued its heroes. “Mai’s story should be included in textbooks,” she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • John B
    Mar 12, 2012 - 8:19AM

    “Mai’s story should be included in textbooks,” -PAK does not have to look in her history books for role models.

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  • Mar 12, 2012 - 4:32PM

    a group of 15 army personnel kidnapped and later executed nine villagers from Tando Bahawal in 1992.

    A little background to the incident would have been better. But then again such would be too much to ask from a tabloid like ET!

    Why must we, or any one else, show any sympathy to this senile woman just because she is a woman? What if her relatives really were criminals and justly punished? (…the perils of not including a background!)

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  • Mar 12, 2012 - 5:03PM

    @Antebellum:
    thats the problem with our media, and people have no control over the media at all

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  • Mar 12, 2012 - 11:22PM

    @Antebellum: Kidnap and execution are not just punishment for ANY crime. Get your values straight. Plus, army soldiers are not responsible for law enforcement in rural Sindh. Get your facts straight as well.

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  • Mar 13, 2012 - 3:09AM

    It seems that despite your smart comments, you guys have a problem accessing information in today’s day and age. So here it is:
    The Pakistani soldiers shot the villagers claiming that they were dacoits and RAW agents. Later, the truth came out that the soldiers had killed the villagers to help their commanding officer’s friend grab land belonging to the (killed) villagers. Afterwards, as compensation, the Sindh government allotted 24 acres of useless, barren land to each of the bereaved families. Welcome to Pak (cooked ) justice of Pakistan.

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