March 10. 2006
Maryam and Christina, the name of the two poor girls, who were detained by the Pakistani border officials when they tried to smuggle heroine to China. A meeting with Mr Raja Sadafar in Deputy Commisioner office in Gilgit led me to a visit to the Gilgit District Jail today.
“They are very poor, really poor girls,” said Raja, mentioning that in a year there was no even a single Indonesian visiting them. He asked me to visit them, as a countryman, and bring them some fruits or something.
I have heard the story of the two girls long before, from several different people. They were innocent girls, involved in this kind of business for the first time, thus inexperienced. There was a box of 4 kg heroine planted in the bottom of their backpacks. One of the girls successfully passed the Pakistani check, but when the other was trying to pass, the experienced border guard suspected that the backpack was to heavy for their tiny body size. It was really a bad luck that even the manual custom search of Pakistan border could find the hidden stuff in their bag, locked firmly in a box. Apparently that as they were first timer in this business, they couldnt hide their expression of anxiety and it was easily read by the Pakistani guards.
Bad luck? They were sentenced 7 years, and have already served 1 year and a half. But it might be a good luck. They were caught in Pakistan, and not in China nor Indonesia where death sentence might apply.
The jail is located near the Gilgit airport. Guarded by a guard, who welcomed me friendly. They he went in and called the girls. I gave him the oranges I brought for them. First Maryam saw me, didnt recognized me, and refused meeting. Christina, the Christian girl met me and asked about my origin. She was friendly. Then Maryam, the Muslim girl, joined the conversation. I found that they look healthy, but very cautious toward strangers, including the countrymen. But not more than 5 minutes I talked with them, the main guard asked me to go away. He was very harsh. The other younger guards just told me to come again tomorrow, as today was Friday, holiday after the Friday Prayers.
The embassy of Indonesia has once visited the girls. But after that, there is nobody coming. Yeah, here is Gilgit, in the middle of nowhere up north in Pakistan, cold in winter, hot in summer. And they were the only foreigners there at this moment. As women jail doesnt exist in most Pakistan, they were placed in a special barrack together with other male prisoners. As the rumour I got, there was another girl from Karimabad serving sentence in the jail, due to free sex (imagine if free sex = crime, then there wouldnt be any space in Indonesian jails). Another rumour that I got, from someone whose uncle was the lawyer of these two girls, their punishment have been shortened to only 2 years after they paid a fine of 150,000 Rupees. They were used by someone, and now they had to pay their experiment. And they were really innocent, of around 20 years old of age merely.
Later on that day, I met a guy, named Muhammad Kassim, who knew these two girls. He was also in the jail for 13 days due to fighting. He said that due to the restriction in the jail, they were not allowed to talk about their histories of crimes. And the two girls didnt speak Urdu at all. He liked Christina personally, and even exchanged “I love you” sentences.
I wish I could do more for the two girls, but I didnt have even the chance to talk much with them. I dont know what they would need, maybe some Indonesian novels or snacks would be helpful. And if there are some interested readers who luckily has the chance to come to Gilgit, please spend some time to visit and give support to them.