Musharraf had me tortured by Pak intelligence, says Baloch businessman

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Peshawar, Dec.12 (ANI): Baloch businessman Munir Mengal, who was arrested for launching a Baloch satellite TV station, has charged former Pakistan President and army chief Pervez Musharraf with ordering his torture by Military Intelligence and the police.

In an interview with world media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in France where he was granted political asylum, Mengal, recalling his 22-month-long incarceration, said that he had a meeting with Musharraf on the evening of October 26, 2006.

"I had been held incommunicado for six months, I was taken to the Saddar barracks near Karachi. Pervez Musharraf was waiting for me in a room with General Azeem and Major General Bajwa. After apologising for the way I had been treated, the president asked me, in English, to give up my TV station project," the Daily Times quotes Mengal, as saying.

"He promised to release me if I pulled out of the media domain. He also offered me a copy of his book so that I could appreciate his commitment to Pakistan. After refusing his deal, I was taken back to my cell and was tortured by MI agents again," he added.

Mengal also claimed that Musharraf aide Tariq Aziz offered him a political job and money in return for abandoning the planned TV station, called Baloch Voice.

Mengal was arrested after landing at Karachi international airport on April 4, 2006.

A military officer in civilian dress confiscated his passport and took him to a military detention centre.

"I was physically and psychologically tortured in the Malir barracks by Colonel Muhamad Raza and Majors Nadim and Atta," he said.

"After not letting me sleep for 72 hours, they stepped up their questioning... Then they threw me in a small underground cell. I spent several months blindfolded and handcuffed... I still have back pain from the kicks I received."

The intelligence services released him on August 4, 2007, after he had been held incommunicado for more than 16 months. A public campaign and court decisions in his favour forced the military to smuggle Mengal out of Sindh province. (ANI)

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