LAHORE: Incarcerated fashion designer Khadija Shah has written an open letter from Central Jail, Kot Lakhpat, explaining the unfolding tragedy faced by 18 imprisoned women, seeking empathy and humanity.

In a five-page handwritten letter, shared by her husband and the party’s official account on X, Ms Shah described “heart-wrenching” accounts of separation, pain, and suffering among the May 9 prisoners. She asserted that each prisoner, including herself, has borne unimaginable punishment.

Ms Shah, the granddaughter of former army chief retired General Asif Nawaz Janjua, noted she has been incarcerated for over four months for ‘peacefully participating’ in the May 9 protest.

Writing about the plight of 18 “innocent” women imprisoned alongside her due to May 9 incidents, Ms Shah highlighted their inability to share their suffering and the struggles their families face.

Ms Shah shared the tragic stories of six imprisoned mothers among the 18, including Afshaan Tariq, who has been in prison for two months and constantly sheds tears.

Farzana Khan, mother of five and a café owner, has been suffering in jail for over two and a half months.

Rohina Khan, mother of four kids with no family in Pakistan to care for them.

Shahbano Gohchani, mother of three, was held just before her youngest daughter’s fifth birthday.

Aaliya Hamza, mother of three daughters, was witnessed by her daughters being dragged from their home on May 9.

She said her own five-year-old daughter was anguished without her.

She called on everyone, stating, “Whether you are a PTI supporter or not, humanity dictates that this trial be brought to an end.”

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2023

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