PAKISTAN: The special assistant to a chief minister and policemen attack villagers to grab land killing three persons

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that the special assistant to the chief minister of Sindh, Mr. Ismail Dahri, in the company of several policemen attacked villagers in Nawab Shah district on the nights of September 26 and 27, to forcibly evict them from their land. Mr. Dahri, a close friend of Pakistani President Asif Zardari, has used the policemen to launch the attack to abet his friend in grabbing the land from the villagers. They opened fire at the resisting villagers killing three persons, including Mr. Dahri’s brother, and wounding of several others.


According to the information received from the victims and local journalists, on the nights between September 26 and 27 at around 1:30am, Mr. Ismail Dahri, special assistant to the chief minister of Sindh province, and several policemen traveling in four police jeeps and six private vehicles attacked the houses of people from Channa tribe at Village Nangar Makan, Union Council Daulatpu, Nawab Shah district. They took advantage of the darkness to launch the attack. It was Mr. Daheri who commanded the attack.

The policemen and Mr. Ghulam Nabi Channa, a henchman of Dahri, entered the two plots, bearing numbers of 108 and 109, located in Deh Allah Khai, UC Shahpur Jehania. They ordered all the occupants to vacate at once and when they resisted, Mr. Dahri and Mr. Channa, opened fire at them. Mr. Abdul Ghafoor, a primary school teacher, was killed instantly. After they witnessed the incident, thinking that those who are attacking them were robbers, the villagers came out from each of their houses armed with them sticks and axes, to chase them away.

When one villager, Mr. Mohammad Khan Raho, tried to stop Mr. Dahri and the policemen from shooting at the villagers, Dahri’s younger brother, Mr. Asghar, shot him. Mr. Raho died on his way to the hospital due to his injuries. At this time, the villagers retaliated by attacking the policemen and Mr. Channa. The confrontation also resulted to the injury of Mr. Asghar, who, after three days, died at the hospital in Karachi where he was confined. It is surmised that Mr. Asghar could have also been hit by bullets fired by his companions during the attack.

The villagers also contacted the District Police Officer (DPO) of Shaheed Benazirabad by telephone asking for his intervention but this officer took no action. He further refused to instigate legal action against the attackers.

When the villagers took Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Chnna to the Shahpur Jehania Hospital they found that the hospital did not have electricity and they then took him to another hospital, Moro Hospital where he later died.

On their way to the Moro Hospital, Mr. Bisharat Mallah, an inspector at Daulatput police station, stopped the car and arrested Mr. Imran Khan Channa and Mr. Ayaz Ahmed. He took them inside a car together with Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Channa and Mr. Dahri went to Karachi where he had influence with the provincial minister for Home affairs. He ordered the policemen to arrest the villagers and subsequently more than 30 persons were illegally arrested without any registration of the First Information Report (F.I.R), a legal requirement to charge a person for arrest.

On September 29, a Judicial Magistrate in Sakrand City made an unannounced visit at the different police stations where they found some of those arrested, including Mr. Liaqat, Mr. Javed Ali and Nisar Ahmed, being kept illegally in their custody.

On October 3, at about 7am, Ismail Dahri with policemen onboard six police jeeps raided the village of Nanager Makan without any search warrant. They forcibly entered into the houses, beat and abused the women and arrested a 90-year-old man, the former Head Master of the Primary School Daulatput who had served there for more than 35 years. They also arrested Khadim Hussain Channa, a handicap person along with 25 other persons.

The three villages, Khar, Raza Muhammad Dahri and Nangar Makan were cordoned off by the police who prohibited any villagers from entering. The villagers had to take shelter in nearby villages. They could also not to go back to their villages or to hospitals to seek medical attention fearing that they would be arrested.


The land in question, plots numbers 108 and 109, situated at Deh Allah Khai, UC Shahpur Jehania, Taluka Daulatpur, Nawab Shah, are vacant lots. Mr. Ghulam Nabi Channa, a local activist of Pakistan People’s Party, asked in 2000 from original owners, Mr. Zulfiqar Channa and Mr. Ghulam Mustafa Channa, that he be allowed to stay there, to which they agreed. However, he had taken the property and started illegal construction on the plots.

The name of the Nawab Shah district was changed to Benazirabad when government of Asif Zardari was formed through a general election. Nawab Shah is also the birth city of President Asif Zardari and Mr. Ismail Dahri, special assistant to chief minister, is a close friend of President Zardari.

In 2005, District Session Court Nawab Shah, decided the ownership of the plots in the name of original owners but Mr. Ghulam Nabi refused to leave the plots. As the government of President Zardari came and Mr. Muhammad Ismail Dahri became the special assistance to chief minister of Sindh, he pressurized the owners to hand over the plots to his henchman, Mr. Channa, contrary to the decision of the court. After finding no way to do this legally Mr. Dahri decided to get the lands through force.

The position of a Special Assistant has no legal authority in the provincial governments and a special assistant cannot attend the cabinet meeting. The provincial cabinet is consisted of ministers and advisors to the chief minister. Mr. Daheri was tipped as special assistant because he was a friend of Pakistan President Asif Zardari. He draws all the perks and privileges equal to that of a provincial minister.


Please write letters to authorities urging them to take immediate action against the misuse of authority by the special assistant to chief minister of Sindh and the policemen in Shaheed Benazirabad District. They should be held to account for the death of three persons, wounding of several others and for illegally arresting and detaining dozens of villagers in abetting to grab the land from the villagers.

Please also urge the authorities to ensure the immediate release of all the people whom the policemen illegally arrested and have continuously held. The provincial government of Sindh should also provide compensation to the villagers.

The AHRC has also written letters to the Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, Violence against Women, on adequate housing and the Working Group on arbitrary detention.

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Dear __________,

Re: PAKISTAN: The special assistant to the chief minister and policemen attacked villagers to grab a land killing three persons

Name of the persons killed:
1. Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Channa, son of Haji Ammer Bux, shot at close range
2. Mr. Mohammad Khan Rahul, shot at close range
Names of wounded victims:
1. Mr. Hadji Ameer Bux Channa, 72 years old, suffered bullet wound, his son Mr. Abdul Ghafoor was killed during the incident
2. Mr. Rahim Bux Channa, son of Mr. Hadji Ameer Bux Channa, suffered gunshot wounds
3. Mr. Abdul Jabbar Channa, 47 years old, suffered gunshot wounds, he is the uncle of Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Channa
4. Mr. Raheem Bux Channa, was wounded; he was a primary school teacher for 15 years
5. Mr. Imran Khan Channa, was wounded, he is a graduate of the Sakrant Agri College
6. Mr. Ayaz Ahmed Channa, suffered gunshot wounds, he is a student of Sindh University
7. Mr. Muhammad Idrees Channa, a former member of Sindh Assembly
8. Mr. Zulfiqar ALi Channa, a high school teacher for 15 years 
9. Mr. Abdullah Channa
10. Mr. Taj Muhammad 
Name of the alleged perpetrators:
1. Mr. Muhammad Ismail Dahri, special assistant to chief minister of Sindh province
2. Mr. Ali Riza Dahri, a resident of village Salar Dahri and brother of Mr. Dahri. He died three days after the incident due to gunshot wounds.  
3. Mr. Ghulam Nabi Channa, a local member of the Pakistan People’s Party, he was the one who sought Mr. Dahri’s help to grab the land from the villagers
4. Suleman Jessar was the former Station House Officer (SHO) of the Daulatpur Saffan Police Station; he was transferred to another unit following the incident
5. Mr. Khalid Taggar, he was the former town police officer of Daulatpur Suffan, he was also transferred to another unit after incident
6. Mr. Ghulam Nabi Zardari, SHO of the Daulatpur Saffan Police Station
7. Mr. S. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, town police officer (TPO) of the Daulatpur Saffan Police Station
8. Mr. Aijaz Tareen, town police officer, Nawabshah district,  
9. Mr. Rukhsar Ahmed Khuwar, district police officer (DPO), Nawabshah, Benazirabad
10. Mr. Ghulam Nabi Memon, regional police officer (RPO), Hyderabad range
11. Mr. Bisharat Mallah, senior investigation officer of police, Daulatpur
12. Mr. Yaqoob, proclaimed offender
13. Sharafat, proclaimed offender
14. Mohabat Ali Channa, proclaimed offender
15. Abdul Karim channa, proclaimed offender
Date of incident:
In between the nights of September 26 and 27, at 1:30am
Place of incident:
Nangar Makkan, UC-Shahpur Jehania Taluka Dualatpur District Shaheed Benazirabad (formerly Nawab Shah), Sindh province,

I am writing to you to show my concern over the brutal attack by Mr. Ismail Dahri, special assistant to the chief minister of Sindh province, on the villagers of Nangar Makkan, UC-Shahpur Jehania Taluka Dualatpur District Shaheed BenazirAbad (formerly Nawab Shah), Sindh province. The attacked was abetted by a heavy contingent of police officers in the area which resulted in the killing of three persons, severe wounding of eight and the arrest and detention of over four dozen villagers.

The incident took place between the nights of September 26 and 27 at 1am. Mr. Dahri, along with a contingent of police from the district, including an SHO, DSP and other high officials, supported with his more than a dozen henchmen of Mr. Ismail Dahri, armed with firearms, attacked the villagers in Nangar Makkan to grab the plot of land from them.

The contested plots, legally owned by Mr. Zulfiqar Channa and Mr. Ghulam Mustafa Channa, have numbers 108 and 109. Mr. Dahri, the local policemen and Mr. Ghulam Nabi Channa, henchmen of Mr. Dahri; assaulted the villagers. When the villagers resisted, they opened fire at them killing three persons and seriously wounding eight other persons. Mr. Channa and police have also indiscriminately opened fire at the villagers. The indiscriminate firing was blamed for the death of Mr. Asghar Dahri, the younger brother Mr. Dahri, who was believed to have also been hit when they indiscriminately opened fired at the villagers.

It is shocking that Mr. Dahri has virtually taken the control of Shahpur Jehania, Taluka Daulatpur and arrested more than four dozen villagers including women. Later on, when women picketed outside the office of district coordination officer (DCO), the police released the women. The inhabitants of three villages, namely, Khar, Raza Muhammad Dahri and Nangar Makan, had to leave their houses to take shelter in the nearby villages. They fear that if they go back to their houses, the policemen would arrest them. They were also threats that they once arrested they could not be released unless they paid bribes. They were also threatened to be charged with murder for the death of Mr. Dahri’ brother, Mr. Asghar.

I am shocked to know that Mr. Dahri, who has no legal authority in his position on matters involving the administration, had been able to use the police force for his personal interests to abet his friend to grab land. It is appalling that because Mr. Dahri is a close friend of President Asif Zardari, he has been able to abuse his position for his illegal acts.

I urge you to take the serious action against Mr. Dahri and the policemen responsible for this attack. They should be charged with murder as stipulated under Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) for the death of the villagers. I also urge you to ensure that villagers can carry on with their lives without being subjected to threats of being attacked. The families of the villagers who died during the incident should also be afforded with compensation.

Yours sincerely,


1. Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan 
Governor of Sindh province 
Karachi, Sindh Province 
Fax: +92 21 920 5043 
Tel: +92 21 920 1201 

2. Syed Qaim Ali Shah 
Chief Minister 
Karachi, Sindh Province 
Fax: +92 21 920 2000

3. Mr.Syed Mumtaz Alam Gillani 
Federal Minister for Human Rights 
Ministry of Human Rights 
Old US Aid building 
Ata Turk Avenue 
G-5, Islamabad 
Fax: +9251-9204108 
4. Mr. Muhammad Ayaz Soomro 
Minister for Law, Parliamantry Affairs & Criminal Prosecution Service 
Sindh Assembly Building, 
Court road, Karachi, Sindh province 
Fax: +92 21 9211982 

5. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court 
High Court Building 
Saddar, Karachi 
Sindh Province 
Fax: +92 21 9213220 

6.. Ms. Nadia Gabol 
Minister for Human Rights 
Government of Sindh, 
Pakistan secretariat, Barrack 92, 
Karachi, Sindh Province 
Fax: +92 21 9207044 
Tel: +92 21 9207043 

7. Dr. Faqir Hussain 
Supreme Court of Pakistan 
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad 
Fax: + 92 51 9213452 

8. Inspector General of Police 
Sindh Province, 
Police Head office, I. I. Chundrigar road 
Karachi, Sindh Province 
Fax: +92 21 9212051 

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme 
Asian Human Rights Commission (