Sepoy Islam Uddin Siddiqui was pronounced death punishment in Kharyaan Military Court. He was finally being put to death crushing all the Constitutional Rights. His family came to know about his death sentence through the Newspapers. He was not availed with the chance to file Mercy Petition. Counsels were not allowed to meet him.Abdul Islam Siddiqui, a soldier of the Pakistan Army hanged in 2005 after an in-camera military
trial for his alleged involvement in the Dec 2003 attack on then president Pervez Musharraf`s
convoy, was denied right to file writ in any superior court, Dawn investigations show.
The case of six other co-accused from the Air Force is currently in the apex court. Two of the
soldiers turned prosecution witnesses, but alleged torture and coercion by military authorities
“The military authorities tortured us to get a false statement against Siddiqui. Brigadier Feroz,
who was supposed to be our defending officer, threatened us into get our signatures on an
“Prosecutor Brigadier Liaqat threatened us with dire consequences unless we signed the
statement and Siddiqui`s defending officer, a major whose identity I`ve been unable to ascertain,
was browbeaten by military court officials every time he tried to argue in Siddiqui`s support,”
claims a former soldier Hafiz Mohammad Ashfaq. He was subsequently released but dismissed
from service without benefits.
Havaldar Mohammad Younis, another witness who deposed against Siddiqui and is currently
incarcerated in Gujranwala jail, also alleged torture.
In an undated hand-written note to his family, he claimed that he was subjected to torture for 10
months in Rawalpindi cells to extricate a false statement against Siddiqui.
“I filed an appeal before Maj-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha [current ISI Chief and the then military
judge hearing appeals against conviction] who merely completed the procedural formality before
upholding my sentence,” Younis said in his note.
“He did not provide a lawyer or summon my witness and did not even care for my refusal to
depose before him.”
Attempts to secure the army`s version of events failed as military spokesman Maj-Gen Athar
Abbas did not respond to calls or a detailed text message.
“Recent Supreme Court verdicts have established that persons convicted by military courts have
the right to file writs in high courts,” said former attorney-general Malik Mohammad Qayyum.
“I recently represented some Air Force personnel in a similar case in the SC, which upheld their
right to move the judiciary against the military court verdict.”
Siddiqui was prosecuted by in-camera trial and executed on Aug 20, 2005. Record shows that he
was sentenced to death before Dec 25, 2004, when this fact was officially announced.
Siddiqui`s family quote him as saying that he had filed appeals before military appellate courts
right up to the army chief, but all were rejected.
“The appeal process in the army is contradictory,” said Colonel (retd) Akram, a former military
“When the army chief confirms a death sentence, the convict can file an appeal in a military
court of appeal which is headed by a military officer subordinate to the army chief.” He added
that it was strange that General Musharraf — the target of the attempted murder — decided the
fate of an appeal as the army chief. And, had Siddiqui been allowed the due process of the law,
his mercy petition would have been presented to Pervez Musharraf in his capacity as president.
Under the law, such appeals — once rejected by the army chief and confirmed by appellant
military courts — go to high courts and then the Supreme Court.
If the appeal is rejected by the apex court, a mercy petition is filed before the president. In
Siddiqui`s case, the process of law appears to have been short-circuited.
President Musharraf rejected Siddiqui`s appeal as army chief and when this was confirmed by an
appellate military court, it was interpreted by jail authorities as a rejection of his mercy petition
by Musharraf in his capacity as the president.
“You are hereby informed that your son Islam Siddiqui, who was sentenced to death for an
attempt on the life of the president and whose appeals have been dismissed, including a mercy
petition that has been rejected by the president of Pakistan, will be hanged to death [sic] on Aug
20, 2005,” said the Aug 13, 2005, letter from the jail authorities to Siddiqui`s father Karim
Buksh, mother Maria Kalsoom and brother Umer Islam Siddiqui.
Siddiqui`s family members accuse jail officials of stopping them from challenging the death
sentence in superior courts.
“Ten days before his scheduled execution, I reached Multan jail accompanied by our lawyer and
the prison authorities refused to let us meet my brother saying that the army had strictly
forbidden it,” said Umer Islam Siddiqui.
Normally, jail authorities are responsible for filing appeals for such convicts from jail,” said
Shah Khawar [then acting attorney-general and currently the deputy AG] when contacted in
Mr Qayyum said that military officials could still be held accountable.
“The family of the hanged soldier can still seek action against military authorities by filing writ
in the High Court,” he said.
“The name of the Abdul Salam Siddiqui never formally appeared in the previous proceedings of
the lower courts; we were told by the prosecutor that he was hanged in the same case but his case
details were not provided,” said advocate Col (retd) Akram.
“If a military court awards the death sentence to any accused persons, it has to be verified by the
chief of the respective armed forces; since he was the Chief of Army Staff at the time, Gen
Musharraf must have signed his death warrant,” said another lawyer, advocate Altaf Malik who
is representing the air force personnel.
Colonel (retd) Akram, said that they never knew that there was a seventh accused in the case.
“We came to know about him through media reports after his execution and later the army
prosecutor told me that since he was an army man, his case was separated from the Air Force
persons,” said Akram.
“Even if he was involved in the assassination attempt, though, he should have been tried with the
rest of the accused persons.”
35-year-old Siddiqui, a father of three who worked for Company No. 1 of the Defence Services
Guard, was charged with pressing the button of the remote control device which caused an
explosion on Jhanda Chichi Bridge on Dec 14, 2003.
Immediately prior to his execution, Siddiqui wrote a two-page letter to his family claiming
|After the illegal and unconstitutional Death- sentence in 2003.|