I was in the middle of a speech, addressing the book launching ceremony of Suraiya Shahab in a Karachi hotel when I learnt about the coup. I asked Shahab, “Do you know what has happened?” She said the Prime Minister had appointed a new army chief. Afterwards, I went to the Midway Hotel and was arrested by the police soon after the coup.

Mentally, I was prepared to take a stand against Musharraf, but I was worried about my family, especially my youngest daughter who was only two and a half years old. The night between the 12th and 13th of October, I made a phone call to my wife, who pushed me to do something for Nawaz Sharif and his family.

I announced a press conference against Mushrraf’s martial law at the Karachi Press Club on the evening of October 13th. The police arrived to arrest me but I managed to escape with the help of senior journalists. Two days after the coup, I held a protest at Regal Chowk Karachi, was arrested and shifted to Central Jail and then Landhi Jail for almost a month.

It was a difficult time. In jail, there was barely any food, water, no cigarettes or basic facilities. I must have been put behind bars ten times during the Musharraf regime. Every time, intelligence agencies and Musharraf’s close aides would offer me lucrative posts. And each time, I refused. Finally in 2002 they kidnapped me for three days from Margallah Road and warned me to stop anti-Musharraf activities or face the music.