Dungens of Lahore Fort | Symbol of Zia-ul-Haq dictatorship and Mughuls regime

Dungeons of Lahore fort that were once used by the Mughal Emperos to torture and imprison those who planned mutiny against their Empire were reopened for people to visit. But last time I visited back in 2011 they were still closed for renovation works. These Dungeons are more than a heritage of this country. They are a symbol of suppression of people's power, how Generals, King and Politicians have used these Dungeons for extra judicial killings of rebels of their times. Military dictator Zia ul Haq used these dungeons as slaughter house and torture cells during his regime. The Punjab Police CID had a detention center in the dungeons and other state intelligence services routinely tortured political activists and their like in those holding cells, their screams resonating in other cells, in complete isolation from the rest of the world.

The basement chambers of the Lahore Fort were never been open to the general public under the Mughuls Emperors rule, who used these Fort as their residence, and were subsequently never opened at any point under either Sikh or British rule. These cells were used by Zia to demoralize his rivals political activists, Journalists and nationalists.

Lahore Fort dungeons to re-open after more than a century LAHORE: The dungeons of Lahore Fort will open to the general public in a week’s time for the first time ever, along with the temple of Lohore which was also closed for years, said sources in the Punjab Archeology Department on Tuesday. Daily Times

Salman Taseer a close companion of Bhutto during Zia regime was also held in these dungeons for months.
He was among the first members of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party when it was founded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the late 1960s. He was an intellectual, a newspaper publisher and a writer; he was jailed and tortured for his belief in democracy and freedom.
One particularly brutal imprisonment was in a dungeon at Lahore Fort, this city’s Mughal-era citadel. My father was held in solitary confinement for months and was slipped a single meal of half a plate of stewed lentils each day. They told my mother, in her early 20s at the time, that he was dead. She never believed that
Shehrbano Taseer
Hasan Nasir was the active leader of the communist movement in Pakistan back in 1950`s. During the regime of Ayub Khan. Hasan Nasir was brought to one such cell on September 13, 1960 after being arrested on August 2, under the Security of Pakistan Act, 1952, on the orders of the Administrator of Karachi. Interrogation was complete by October 24 and he was to be sent back to Karachi by October 29. But he never returned to Karachi and was murdered in cell number 13 of the Fort. It is said that Hasan Nasir’s torture unto death was ordered by the then Inspector General of Police, Khan Qurban Ali Khan.


Sahibzada Habib-ur-Rahman Qalandar Momand was jailed by Field Marshal Ayub Khan since he symbolized the potent Pukhtun voice in the dungeons of Lahore Fort

Sahibzada Habib-ur-Rahman Qalandar Momand (September 1, 1930 - February 4, 2003) was a well known Pashto scholar, poet, critic, short story writer, journalist, linguist, lexicographer, and academician. He was also a trade unionist, nationalist political activist and a member of the Communist Party of Pakistan. 

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