A witness recalls By Robin Fernandez. PCP Special Report
26 Oct 2002
KARACHI: A male worker who survived last month's shooting at the offices of a leading Christian non-governmental organization does not know that his colleagues are dead. "He keeps asking about his office colleagues and we keep giving some excuse or t
Robin Sharif told Pakistan Christian Post Wednesday that he was the first to get a glimpse of the assailants. "One man approached my desk at the reception. He told me he wanted to meet Aslam Martin and Father Arnold Heredia (the founder of the Idara who migrated to Australia some 18 months ago). I spoke to Mr. Martin and told him someone wanted to see him," Sharif said." Just as I informed him, three more men rushed into the reception area. One of them was carrying a weapon, a pistol that he aimed in my direction. They opened my desk drawers and dragged out some masking tape," he recalled. The same masking tape was used to cover the mouths of the Idara workers. One of the assailants then knocked out Sharif with chloroform. "That is the last thing I remember," he added.
On Tuesday when police officials sought Robin Sharif's assistance in preparing a sketch of the killers, they were unsure about his mental faculties. A senior police officer began by asking Robin if he remembered him. But Robin just stared at him blankly and said, "I don't know you." The police official repeated the question again but Robin's answer remained the same. The policeman shook his head and told his colleagues standing nearby that Robin Sharif was probably not all right. But then a few seconds later Robin suddenly smiled and said," Aren't you the same officer who asked me for a description of the robbers who entered the Idara office in 1998?"
"Yes, I am," replied the police official, elated that the survivor could remember an event that took place almost four years ago. Later Robin helped prepare the sketches of three assailants who gunned down seven charity workers. Robin Sharif's testimony has apparently cleared many of the doubts created by the only other witness, Robin Prianditta. "We can safely assume that Piranditta was freed after the police were reassured by the other Robin that the former wasn't a collaborator," a Christian charity worker said.