By Sohaib Mengal
No one knows the definition of anguish, pain, melancholy and torture better than Sehrish Baloch.
Sehrish, an 18-year-old student, lost almost every member of her family through unnatural deaths within a short span of few years. Her father died in his 40s due to a cardiac arrest. A year or so later, her mother and elder sister had a car accident near Bolan. Her sister died on the spot and her mother was critically injured. She fought a week for her life before dying on a hospital bed in Quetta.
With worst socio-economic indicators in Balochistan, Sehrish still doesn’t hold the state responsible for the death of her father, mother and sister. She still doesn’t think that if there were a hospital in her hometown, better road structure in Bolan or better facilities in Quetta hospital, her father, sister and mother could have been saved.
But there is an abduction, a series of trauma and a brutal murder of which she knows who are the perpetrators. She knows who is behind a murder that vanished her only and last reason to live. She knows who is responsible for the loss that made her forget all earlier bereavements because this was much brutal than earlier ones. Sehrish does not have to search the blood on someone’s hands because she knows who are abductors and killers of her brother, Zubair Sarparah Baloch, 24, who was murdered a little more than a year after the death of their mother and sister.
Sehrish’s brother Zubair Baloch, a young and handsome boy, was a student of Balochistan University where he was doing his master’s in psychology. Like many other students of Balochistan University he too was a member of Baloch Students Organisation-Azad (BSO-A).
A platform in the form of BSO-A made him aware about his legitimate rights. This unfortunate boy had raised voice for his rights and hence committed a grave sin for which he paid a very dear price.
On October 2, 2010, he was on his way to his village to meet his family and Sehrish when he was abducted along with his cousin Asmatullah Baloch who too was a member of BSO-A.
Sehrish knew her ordeal has started once again because no one has returned safely from the hands of those armed to the teeth, plainclothesmen who travel in Corolla cars and double cabin trucks.
Nevertheless, she started participating in protests for the release of her brother, cousin and many others but in the core of her heart she knew it would be of no help.
On November 17, when everyone else was celebrating Eid, Sehrish and her family received an Eid gift in the form of their cousin’s body with an amputated finger and several marks of cigarette burns and electric shocks.
The hapless family had to wait for another 40 more days to receive the body of Zubair Baloch on December 26.
The young Zubair’s body was like a skeleton wearing a skin. It seemed he was never given food to eat. The brutal torturers had tried all of their trick and skill on this young boy. His throat was slashed, an eye was plucked, his nose was broken, his body parts were carved deep with knives and his various bones were broken. There was not even an inch of his body left where there were no marks of brutal torture. He was tortured in the most brutal manner possible.
The killers had tortured to death another student activist for his valid demand of his legitimate rights. Many other students, doctors, intellectuals, engineers and teachers also share the same fate as Zubair. Various activists were killed before and after him.
Sehrish is not the only such sister to cry. Her family is not the only one to curse brutal state machinery.
Thousands of other people are either awaiting the bodies of their loved ones or have their tears dried to mourn bodies. More than 500 activists have been killed since June 2010 and it goes unabated without anyone questioning the unquestionable authority given to the killers.
On June 26, when the world observed the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, designated by the UN to emphasise the importance of the right to personal dignity and security of all individuals around the world, Sehrish wonders whether such days and toothless organisations have anything to do with the Baloch.
She awes whether cruelties perpetrated on her brother’s body fulfil the definition and requirements of torture. She also thinks whether Baloch comes under the definition of “individual” defined by the UN. For Sehrish, June 26 is another day to cry for her father, mother, sister and brother. It is another day to curse her fate to be born as a Baloch in Balochistan. She knows nothing but pain. She expects the champions of human rights to act instead of commemorating particular days. She hopes that instead of issuing reports, these organisations will act one day and eradicate anguish of her and thousands of other girls like her. She hopes one day people like Zubair and Asmat will be released safely and perpetrators will be brought to book. She believes a day will come when she and many others will live a free life in a free state.
But for now Sehrish awaits justice..
The perpetrators of the Bengali genocide never learnt anything from history. This time the playing field is Balochistan and the targets are Baloch intellectuals, educationists, doctors, students and artists.
The Khmer Rouge, an organisation that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, executed almost everyone with an education, or even people who could speak English or wore glasses.
There has always been a cleansing by occupiers and dictators of the intelligentsia who stand out from the masses. The occupiers have reasons to do this as intellectuals and artists, based on their popularity and position in society, are the kind of people who would be most able to influence the masses. The occupiers and dictators want to consolidate their power and eliminate all voices that dissent against them and cause difficulties for their unquestionable impunity.
The suppression of political activists and intellectuals in Chile in 1973, followed by Argentina’s dirty war, where ‘kill and dump’ remained the main tool of crimes against humanity, are some chilling accounts of these tactics.
However, the most terrible case was the killing of intellectuals by the Pakistani army and its collaborators in Bangladesh in 1971. A number of professors of Dhaka University were murdered during the first few days of the war. There was an enormous upsurge in targeted killings of intellectuals during the last few days of the war. It is believed that al-Badr and al-Shams forces created a list of doctors, teachers and scholars and killed almost all of them.
Bangladesh subsequently achieved its liberation but the perpetrators of the Bengali genocide never learnt anything from history. This time the playing field is Balochistan and the targets are Baloch intellectuals, educationists, doctors, students and artists. The fifth insurgency in Balochistan has been the bloodiest and most destructive for the Baloch nation in the sense that almost the whole cream of Baloch society has either been brutally murdered or forced to leave Balochistan by the hand of the Pakistani state and its intelligence agencies.
Since June 2010, more than 500 Baloch have been either killed and dumped or targeted in hit and run attacks. The most heartrending was the murder of Qandeel-e-Baloch, Shaheed Ustad Saba in broad daylight. He was the one of most vital things that the Baloch nation ever lost. The author of almost 24 books, founder of a premier Balochi language library, which was self-financed, a great poet, a novelist and one of the most sincere activists of Balochistan was killed for his views and dissenting voice about Balochistan. His only sin was his valid demand of legitimate rights for his people.
Subsequently, a Baloch professor of Bolan Medical College, Surgeon Dr Mazar Khan, was gunned down in Quetta city. The case was not different again; a Baloch professor with a political view, who helped his students in many ways, had no right to live in this cuckoo land. His sins included the accommodation and easing up of the postmortem process for the families of kill and dump victims.
The recent victim of this elimination of the Baloch intelligentsia is Nazeer Marri, an educationist who was widely known as Master Nazeer. He was gunned down on Arbab Karam Khan Road on Tuesday. The deceased, who was attached to the noble profession of teaching for 32 years, was the vice principal of Killi Shaikhan High School, Quetta. Nazeer Marri was a very popular figure among his students due to his firm stand and the chilling ordeal of his three terms of tortures in Pakistani military torture cells.
Mr Marri was illegally arrested three times during the dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf, but was subsequently released due to a lack of evidence. He was arrested for the first time in the Justice Nawaz Marri murder case in 2000 along with many other Marri Baloch including Nawab Khair Baksh Marri. He was badly tortured for six months in the CIA detention centre in Quetta.
The second time he was abducted by the intelligence agencies on November 17, 2005, and remained missing for six weeks. He was again abducted for the third time on November 2, 2006 and was kept in illegal incommunicado detention for more than a year, where he was tortured badly. He was released in a very bad and critical condition.
Though Mr Marri faced many agonising hardships, he never abandoned the teaching profession. He was arming the young Baloch students with awareness and enlightenment, which too is considered a sin in this state. The beloved SST teacher of Baloch students was gunned down on June 19, when he was heading to the school. This created rage among his students and the young students of his school blocked the road and attacked government installations on Sariab Road for many hours.
Is this the last brutality? No, and neither is it the first one. The Baloch nation has developed an acquaintance with these brutalities since March 27, 1948, and there seems to be no ray of hope. The Khmer Rouge of Cambodia has reincarnated in the shape of the intelligence agencies and their collaborators in Balochistan. The day is not far when every person with a surname Baloch may be killed.
The world has to act, as it is already too late.
The writer is a CC member and international representative of BSO-Azad. He can be reached at email@example.com. He tweets at http://twitter.com/mirsohaib
(This is my speech that I read at Baloch Cultural and Musical event in London on 2nd June 2012 in remembrance of our very beloved Ustad Saba.)
Since the day our land has gone into the hands of barbaric occupiers, Baloch nation has lost many great sons but there have been few deaths that made almost everyone of us cry like a child. One of such tragic losses was when Ustad Saba Dashtyari Baloch was murdered.
The legendary teacher of Baloch nation was brutally killed exactly a Year ago by the Pakistani Army.
Who was this legendary teacher that was considered a guru by many Baloch youth.
Ustad Saba’s ancestors basically belonged to Lasbela, eastern Balochistan but they subsequently migrated to Dashtiyar in Western Balochistan and finally settled in the historical Baloch city of Mai Kolachi or Karachi. It was the year of 1953; the lower middle class family of Mohammad Usman and the area of Maripur where Ghulam Hussain opened his eyes, who was to turn into the respected Ustad Saba for the Baloch nation in coming years.
In his early days of life, Ustad Saba was raised in the company of famous Baloch writer, novelist and Poetess, Banal Dashtiyari and the famous Baloch intellectual Syed Hashmi. Saba attained his earlier education from Lyari and did his matriculation from Okahi Memon School. He did his intermediate from SM commerce college Karachi in 1973. He graduated in 1976. Later Mr. Dashtyari obtained Masters degree in Islamic studies and Philosophy.
He started with his PhD in 1979 but got a job as lecturer in Balochistan University and prefered to help his nation through teaching profession instead of continuing his further studies. From 1979 till his brutal murder in 2011 he remained a professor of theology in Balochistan University. He was fluent in many languages including English, Persian and Arabic.
He started his literary work by writing poetry in Urdu and subsequently began writing in Balochi. He wrote his first poem on the death of famous Baloch singer Ustad Jharok.
In 1984, Inspired and encouraged by famous Baloch writer Abdullah Jan Jamaldini, Ustad Saba completely abandoned writing in Urdu language and solely adopted Balochi language for his literary works. He started writing poetry and short fiction stories for Radio Balochistan.
Ustad Saba himself was very much inspired by the personalities of Syed Hashmi and Abdullah Jan Jamaldini. He considered them his teachers and gurus.
In 1983 Ustad became a member of Syed Academy, a Balochi literary academy in 1983 and became its Vice President in 1988. He also became the deputy editor of monthly magazine Balochi in 1988 and founded a literary organization Chaidag in the same year. In 1994 his fiction work Hon o Hosham was published. He was author of at least 24 books.
He devoted his whole life for the promotion of Balochi language and culture because he believed that until and unless Baloch don’t realize the importance of their culture they could never surface as an independent and civilized nation in real terms.
Though Ustad taught theology but he was a liberal and open-minded person who was not reluctant to discuss any topic that others considered taboo.
One of his greatest achievements was laying down the foundations of a premier Balochi language academy, Syed Hashmi Library, in 1996 in Karachi. Syed Hashmi Library started fully functioning in 2002. It’s not just a library but a treasure for the Baloch nation. It has hundreds and thousands of books on Balochi literature. It is the only place in the world where more than 95% of all the published magazines or pamphlets of Balochi language are found. During the last days of his life he was planning to form a Balochi encyclopedia committee and a research academy by the name of Balochelogy institute of Research. Professor Saba spent most of his Salary on promotion of Balochi language and improvement of the library. He also used to pay the education fees of many Baloch students who couldn’t afford.
His talent and intellect were not only limited to literary works but he was also a great activist and big supporter of Independent Balochistan movement. After the murder of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in 2006, Ustad Saba practically started participating in protests and activism for the legitimate rights of his people. He witnessed the extra-judicial killings of his own students but he never trembled on his stance. He revolted against the tyranny and started leading marches and protests against Pakistani occupation of Balochistan. Not confined to this, he also made with his teachings a whole platoon of Baloch students who are armed with ideologies that stand firm as mountains and who would never retreat or surrender. He preached liberalism to Baloch youth for many decades.
Due to Ustad Saba’s enormous achievements and help for the Baloch movement he was rightly titled Qandeel-e-Baloch by Baloch national defense forces.
The tyrant enemy of Baloch nation could never tolerate a Baloch who was a walking institution, University and an encyclopedia in him self. The enemy knew that this person was enriching the minds of Baloch youth with ideologies that will be driving force for the struggle against slavery for years. A struggle that can never be defeated with brutalities. Out of this fear the brutal enemy killed our beloved Saba.
Ustad we miss you. We miss that humble person in his own classical attire who was not less than an angel. Ustad we miss the way you smiled whenever you saw your students. We miss that warm welcome Ustad. We miss the way you kissed your students whenever you met them irrespective of whether you personally knew them or not. Ustad we miss those chats we used to have in the cafeteria of Balochistan University where you used to treat everyone of us as your friends. We miss those discussions where we used to discuss everything. Dear Ustad Saba we miss those difficult Balochi words that you used, and we also miss those long definitions that would tell us when we used to ask the meanings of those difficult words. Ustad you were not an individual but an institution.
Ustad we miss your teachings But Ustad let us also tell you a good news that your students are fighting the tyranny with full zeal and power. The uncountable brutalities, enforced disappearances and murders could not tremble the cognizant students that you had equipped during your lifetime.
Ustad they have killed many of those who used to sit with you in the cafeteria but they couldn’t break them. The thousands that you had equipped with ideologies are still fighting the enemies and due to your earnest teachings they are increasing in numbers with each day. Dear Ustad our enemy has lost it at many fronts and it is not far when your students will bring the enemy to the justice and probe them for the brutalities including your heartbreaking murder. Ustad you were unique and irreplaceable but your teachings are always there with us and with strength of these teachings we will defeat all the intruders and occupiers.
وتی شہیدانی ھوناں کہ پارسنگ مکنت
بلوچ چون بکنت دژمن ءَ گوں جنگ مکنت
مئے وش نیتک کہ ایر رتکگ اَنت چو کنزیرءَ
مئے زہگ پرچا وتا گریشگ ءِ پُلنگ مکنت
It was July 2010. I was in Karachi back then for my CA. One day I received a text on my mobile phone from a Baloch friend that bullet-riddled body of missing Faizullah Baloch has been found. We couldn’t believe it. Abduction by intelligence agencies was a daily routine in Balochistan. But we couldn’t understand why they would kill him. He was in their custody, they could detain him forever but what was the point in killing him? Some of us argued that it couldn’t be agencies because why would they want to defame themselves by killing and throwing Baloch activists in such a brutal manner. But we were wrong, Faiz was the first victim of Pakistani state’s brutal terror mechanism of “kill and dump”.
The bodies kept falling and we, the Baloch activists, kept counting. In January 2011, within a span of just few months, the number of bullet-riddled bodies grew up to 70. The pile kept growing and I moved to London for further studies. Then a time came when we lost the count but the killers continued their job. 200… 300… 400… and it went on. When you live away from your motherland the love for it deepens. My day, like many other activists living in diaspora, starts with Twitter and Facebook with a prayer in mind that we don’t get news of another brutal murder. But they say nothing is on the oppressor’s side. Same is the case with us, as often our prayers go unanswered and the rest of the day is ruined. We get enraged at times and mostly cry our heart out. But the bodies keep falling and the bloodthirsty beasts pursue their quest by murdering at times eight or nine Baloch activists a day.
There is no single Baloch family who hasn’t been affected by this brutal “kill and dump” policy. Being a member of the BSO-Azad, I lost few very good friends in the last two years. Qamber Chakar, Qayyum Baloch, Zubair Sarparah, Sami Mengal, Asmatullah Sarparah and Sangat Sana were all members of our organisation and very good friends. They are not the only ones who were killed. In fact BSO-A has lost more than 100 very active members in the last two years. The cream of Baloch society is being targeted.
In the beginning, the killings were confined only to low-profile Baloch activists but it seems now they have ran out of stock. Now the targets are high-profiled popular Baloch leaders. Or may be because of a silent media and criminal judiciary the killers are now more brave in their acts. Jaleel Reki, Ghaffar Langove and recently Sangat Sana were all very famous Baloch leaders.
I first met Sangat Sana in Quetta when he was the vice chairman of the Baloch Students Organisation. Unlike his strict stance on Balochistan, Sangat was a very soft spoken and articulate man in his late twenties. We had a chat over a cup of tea with other BSO-A office-bearers. Baloch politics had seen sudden and very disheartening developments in those days with the death of Nawab Akbar Bugti and later on the unexpected demise of Nawabzada Balaach Khan Marri. Brahumdagh was in hiding whereas Hyrbiar Marri was facing grave political sanctions in Britain. Baloch youth were lacking a compelling leader to devise policies and lead them in time of such distress.
The BSO-A leadership took the initiative and decided to take the heavy burden of standing against tyranny on its own. Few students belonging to the lower-middle-class and some to very poor families stood like the mountain of Chiltan without even giving a second thought about the consequences. Zakir Majeed, Sangat Sana and Waja Basheer Zeb emerged as charismatic leaders and later on changed the very political set up and mentality of the Baloch nation. The organisation surfaced as the most powerful and adored political organisation in politics. The state forces never liked the organised and rebellious politics of Baloch youth, which was restraining them from functioning properly in looting and plundering Baloch resources. They retaliated with full force and the student organisation paid very heavily for the strict stance it had adopted.
The leadership of BSO came under the direct wrath of oppressive forces. Zakir Majeed, the senior vice chairman of the BSO-A, was abducted by officials of intelligence agencies near Mastung on June 8, 2009. It has been 981 days since Majeed went missing and bearing inhumane torture in illegal custody. There have also been four murder attempts on Waja Basheer Zeb, the chairman of the BSO-A.
Various attempts were made to abduct or kill Sangat Sana before they finally succeeded in abducting him on December 7, 2009. Sangat Sana belonged to a very rich and influential tribal family but he preferred activism to family business. His soft-spoken nature and strict ideology made him a very respected student leader among Baloch students. Everyone praised his leadership skills and Sangat preserved these skills even in the face of cruel torture of government forces.
An abducted Baloch activist, after being released from the government torture cells, narrated stories of how Sangat Sana bravely countered his investigation team and other torturers in a military cell. According to him: “We were being held in a military torture cell near Serena Hotel in Quetta. The conditions were very bad. We only got food two times a day and that too in very little quantity. Almost every day new activists were brought in there. Later, we realised that Sangat Sana is also in the custody cell. He always argued with military officers and would leave them speechless with his arguments. He tried to organise us and slowly changed the environment of torture cell with his bravery and skills. The agonising and dreadful environment now changed into a fearless and brave atmosphere but the torture and inhumane conditions never stopped. He would always quarrel with officers on the condition of food and later on with a few other activists he staged a hunger-strike. Though the condition of food didn’t improve but his stance nonetheless annoyed and made things difficult for the military officers. He was continuously threatened for his life.”
So next time when you are enjoying a lavish dinner in Serena Hotel or living in the presidential suites of the hotel for a work trip sponsored by your newspaper or on the invitation of the Pakistan Army, don’t forget that the owners of Baloch land are being subjected to inhumane torture only a few yards away.
The released Baloch activist told us this story a year ago but his account was confirmed with the pictures of inhumane torture on the body of Sangat Sana. His bullet-riddled body was found on February 13 from Murghaap Turbat. The cruel forces couldn’t break his determination so they tried to break his body. His body was tortured to an extent that shames humanity. There was not a single place on his body which had no scars of brutal torture. His chest was ripped off and he was shot 28 times on his chest and head. The bloodthirsty beasts couldn’t satisfy their thirst with killing the Baloch leader so they mutilated his body beyond recognition.
The question arises what is the point in mutilating the bodies and the answer rests in the mentality of the security forces. This is nothing but sheer terrorism to stop the Baloch nation from asking for their basic human rights. But there has been some misjudgment or miscalculation while making policies in Islamabad. With their terrorism they are doing nothing but boosting the morale of the Baloch nation and making them more determined that their future doesn’t lie in a state which abuses their mothers, disgraces their sisters and kills their brothers.
February 16th,2012 Politics
The Black Car in which Zamur and Jaana were travelling.
Brahamdagh Bugti’s sister, and Mehran Baluch’s sister-in-law Zamur Bugti (34), and 13-year old daughter, Jaana Domki were visiting the house of Zamur’s maternal uncle after attending a wedding ceremony of a cousin at Carlton Hotel in D.H.A, Karachi. They were accompanied by their driver (Barkat Baloch) and a helper’s 12 year old daughter. They were travelling in a black Toyota sedan (Registration: ANR-353). The car also had an MPA Balochistan plate on it.
Between 1 and 1:30 AM on the 31st of January, shortly after leaving the uncle’s house, a black coloured car intercepted Bugti’s car near Gizri bridge, Clifton. A man dressed in black shalwar kameez and wearing a black face mask jumped out of the car and shot the driver, Barkat Baloch, as they tried to get away. The driver was killed on the spot as a result of multiple bullet wounds to the head. Then the assailant opened the rear door at which point two bikes arrived at the scene and parked on the left and right side of the car. Upon opening the door, Zamur Bugti offered her jewellery, phone and valuables to the man, thinking that he was a robber. In response the killer told Zamur that he didn’t need her valuables and that he was there to kill her and her daughter, in urdu. Zamur Bugti told him to spare her daughter and that he could kill her. At this point the killer went to the daughter who was sitting on the front passenger seat and fired multiple shots at her, hitting her in the chest and neck.
Zamur Bugti was made to witness the brutal killing of her daughter. Zamur Bugti was then shot over a dozen times in the head, face and neck at point blank range and was left in a pool of blood. During this incident, the police were spectating from a distance.
We have gathered all this information from a first hand witness who was a helper’s daughter. She was deliberately spared by the killer. The girl ran back to the house which they had just left and informed the family there of what had happened. The family members immediately rushed to the scene where they found the previously spectating policemen close to the victims bodies, trying to steal jewellery the victims were wearing. A family member who just arrived at the scene from the uncle’s house witnessed this and yelled at them and told them to get away, so they stepped back. No personal belongings were taken.
The victims were then taken to the hospital.
Zamur Bugti was the grandaughter of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and daughter of the late Rehan Bugti. She was the older sister of Brahamdagh Bugti and wife of Balochistan MPA Bakhtiar Domki, who is part of the opposition in the Balochistan assembly. Domki is also a maternal grandson of Nawab Akbar Bugti.
Bakhtiar Domki has held the state’s intelligence agencies responsible for what he has called a targeted killing.
Zamur Bugti had received threats previously. A number of Baloch women related to leading Baloch nationalist figures have also received threats in the past.
PS- Its pertinent to mention that the Pakistani agencies in particular the ISI have relentlessly tried to suppress Mehran Baluch’s voice in the international forums there tactics range from extradition from the UK, presentation of false interpol documents to the international community and the killing of his brother Balach Marri in 2007 and now stooping down to the killing of his sister in law Zamur Bugti.
“Up in Arms”
The Helicopters flied at very low level, few were hovering over suspicious muddy mountains, which, it seemed the pilots had mistaken for abodes of rebels.
Beebarg ran towards the shelter, which they had covered with wild bushes for camouflage. He was amazed at the happenings. It was the very first time he had forgotten his gun in the Tent and that too on a day when gunships had arrived to search them like wolfhounds look for wolves. After picking his gun and backpack, in which he kept a diary and a few other day to day tools and cloths to counter the harsh weather, he tried to have an understanding of the situation. Meerain, his cousin, looked a little confused; after all it was the first time they were in such a situation.
He could listen the sound of gunfire but couldn’t ascertain where was it coming from. May be the second camp was under attack as the sound of these guns seemed unfamiliar to him. “It must be the sound of gunships,” he murmured.
“Ustaad has ordered to leave the tents and take shelter under the trees towards the north of the camp,” Meerain shouted.
Every one ran towards the wild fig trees. They were thick enough to hide all 19 revolutionaries, who were students, doctors or uneducated peasants. They all had left the comforts of their homes as an act of self-defense.
“Collect your valuables and documents, if you have any, we will be leaving this camp in a while. But we have to wait for Mazaar first as we are unfamiliar with this area, he will be arriving from camp Delta in a while.” Their commander, which they respectfully called Ustaad, explained.
They had camped here only fifteen days ago.
X X X
Beebarg was a handsome, well-built, tall boy in his early twenties. His thick eyebrows joined in center above his nose and His skin color was dark, mostly because of the harsh hot weather of a terrain where He was living since last eleven months.
He was one of the two sons of a rich family; His father owned a car show room in Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan.
His father admitted him in the best school of town soon after their arrival in Quetta. Their family had left their hometown, the coastal city of Gwadar mainly for the studies of their children.
Beebarg, along with his younger brother and sister, went to school in a new car almost every month. A new car for them was not a problem as their father used to sell and purchase new and used cars. But this fact was not known to his class-fellows who were jealous of their friend’s unending wealth. In fact that was the reason he came in a new car that frequently.
After passing high schools, He was enrolled in a nice college because of his influential father’s contacts. It was there that he became friends with Qamber and his political friends. Qamber was one bright student in the class who had a very sound knowledge of local as well as international politics. Here Beebarg, for the first time, listened the words “Occupied Balochistan”, “Socialism” and “Students Organization” from Qamber.
Qamber had a charismatic personality, enough to impress any student or teacher. For the next one and half year Qamber, Beebarg and their friends conducted various study circles where mostly Qamber read different papers about revolutions of the world for his friends. The stubborn, show-off, rich Beebarg was now a polite sober young boy who spent most of his time reading books lent to him by Qamber.
The political situation in Balochistan was changing at a fast pace. An armed organization had claimed credit for various bomb attacks targeting state forces. Various security pickets and checkpoints were installed on busy roads where stop and search were routines.
Beebarg felt these acts by state forces were discriminatory; only members belonging to a particular ethnic group were searched and the behavior of state forces was not polite at all.
Local newspapers started reporting about abduction of activists.
Beebarg could see the families of missing persons observing hunger strikes in front of press clubs. He could feel the subjugation and oppression his people were experiencing everyday.
But the incident was yet to come which would change his life forever.
“Qamber has been abducted from his house by state agencies last night, the police has refused to file an FIR,” said Naeem, his college friend, in one breath.
For the next one-year Beebarg and his friends protested in front of offices of various Human Rights Organizations and Press clubs. But no one was mightier than state secret agencies. No one knew where Qamber was and in what condition.
After a long one year Beebarg received a text from his friend, which read “The mutilated and tortured dead-body of Qamber has been found from a road-side.” Another son of soil was killed as a result of Pakistan’s secret dirty war against people who had risen for their rights.
It didn’t take him much time to join an armed militant organization, which was now a full-fledged small army defending the poor people against a powerful state force.
X X X
Meerain was a thin man living the twenty-eighth year of his life. He had lived most of his life in poverty unlike his cousin who had left the fisherman village of Gwadar twenty years ago. The first few years of Meerain’s life were very tough. He lived with his mother and four sisters in two-bedroom house. The house was small but clean. His father had died in an earlier uprising but he came to know about this fact only when he was sixteen. He was told his father is working in Muscat.
He, for living, worked as a fisherman in a fishing boat of a local tribal elder. The money was very less but it was better than nothing.
The only things Meerain enjoyed were smoking weed and playing flute. He was very good in playing flute, which he had learnt, from a fisherman at his exhausting job. The only thing, which could relax them on one-month voyages, was weed.
In the Summer when sea was not in a mood to accept anyone to fish, Meerain with his friend Kabeer would leave for the mountain of Daam for hunting and to satisfy his greed for the nature.
One day while playing flute he couldn’t even notice that veiled armed persons have surrounded them.
“Who are you and what are you doing here?” One of them asked in an angry voice.
“We are hunters” Meerain replied while his legs trembled.
“Don’t you know our organization has banned hunting in this whole area?” Another man asked.
“No, we had no idea” Meerain replied again.
“What is your name, your father’s name, and where are you from,” The first man asked many questions at once.
Meerain answered his questions.
“Oh, you are son of Martyr Abdul Qadir” the men replied with a polite tune this time.
Meerain nodded affirmatively…
Meerain was treated very warmly, and this resulted in his frequent visits to these rebels and not long before joining them. He had quit smoking weed now.
And there He met his cousin Beebarg who was transferred from an urban revolutionary unit to mountains by senior command.
X X X
Half of the day passed in grave tension and they could only ate boiled rice for lunch. Mazaar arrived at evening with the good news that camp Delta was not attacked.
Ustaad had already decided with Camp Delta’s commander over wireless communication that Camp Delta would engage the enemy forces in fight clearing the way for them to evacuate.
The revolutionaries, armed with rockets and AK47s, were now on the move. It was evening when they left. They could only travel few kilometers before it was dark.
The night was too dark and the clouds had already covered the whole sky. There were no more helicopters now. They thanked nature and their luck for the weather but it didn’t take them much time to lament it.
Mazaar had mistaken the decided route due to darkness and now they were heading towards nowhere.
“We are on a wrong way, Ustaad,” He said.
“But we have to move anyway, we cannot stop here,” Ustaad replied.
Suddenly the whole area lit up with light bombs fired by the enemy forces. They had in fact entered into an area very close to an enemy camp.
Heavy firing followed the bomb as enemies had spotted them. There was viscous firing from both sides.
Many bullets hit the stones in front of Beebarg, but the young man fought bravely. He and Meerain along with Ustaad were in the front rows.
“We will engage them and you start abandoning the area,” Ustaad ordered soldiers that were in the back rows.
They fought for two long hours, they were only three left behind. A bullet had hit Beebarg in his leg but he didn’t let anyone know and continued fighting.
“Should we leave now,” Meerain asked Ustaad.
“Yes, I m running out of ammunition.” Ustaad replied.
“Beebarg lets go!” Meerain shouted.
There was no reply. He shouted again but he could only listen the gunfire.
He ran towards him as fast as he could only to find that a bullet had hit Beebarg on his chest.
He was breathing his last.
“You.. cannot… carry me along.. leave before its too late,” Beebarg gathered all his energy to utter only these words.
Meerain kissed his young cousin’s forehead, picked his gun and ran back towards the mountains.
Beebarg closed his eyes recalling a famous quote, which was Qamber’s favorite.
“I don’t care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps on shooting.”
Prime Minister Gilani, on his recent visit to Quetta, asked the militants to shun violence and urged them to choose the path of peace. He was addressing the passing out parade of the recruits of Pakistan Army in Balochistan. It seems that Mr Gilani was unaware of what his men in uniform and plain clothes were doing in Khuzdar, Gwadar and other parts of Balochistan while he was enjoying dry-fruits in the garrison city of Quetta on his short visit. In a very short span of three days, nine mutilated bodies of Baloch missing persons were found from different parts of Balochistan.
The first two victims of the brutal ‘kill and dump’ policy were Irfat Baloch and Kareem Jan Baloch. Irfat, a teenage boy, was a student of Turbat Degree College. He was abducted along with two other friends on September 23, 2011 from Pasni Cross. Their vehicle was intercepted when they were on their way to Quetta for a study tour. Kareem Jan Baloch, a political and social activist, went missing on August 8, 2011 from Tump, district Kech. He was detained illegally for 58 days before his brutally tortured body was found along with Irfat Baloch.
The whole of Balochistan mourned — strikes were observed throughout the province but the worst had yet to come. On October 9, the Baloch nation witnessed one of its most terrible days when the bullet-riddled bodies of 11-year-old Abdul Wahid Baloch (who was also called Balaach) and Ghulam Ullah Baloch, General Secretary of Baloch Watan Movement, were found from Baghbana, Khuzdar.
The young Balaach gained popularity when a picture of him wearing a Balochistan flag was posted on social websites a year ago. The shirt he was wearing read: ‘Jiye Azad Balochistan’. This picture went viral on social networking websites where it remained the display picture of many people for several days. But no one actually knew that this picture and Balaach’s participation in protests would actually turn out to be the reason for his brutal death. Balaach was abducted on August 8, 2011 from Khuzdar in the presence of several eyewitnesses. Personnel wearing plain clothes in several vehicles abducted him at gunpoint from a busy market in broad daylight. His tiny body had to bear inhumane torture for 62 days before a bullet in his brain ended his sufferings in October.
The levies found two other bodies from Kulanch, Gwadar on the same day. The deceased were identified as Sameer Rind and Abdul Mutalib Baloch. Sameer Jan Rind was abducted from Turbat during a house raid on October 14, 2010. The 24-year-old student was detained illegally exactly for one year. Sameer Jan’s sister struggled hard for the recovery of her brother. From TV shows to the judiciary, she knocked at every door but she could only get the tortured remains of her young brother. But that was not the end of the Baloch ordeal; some more sisters had to cry, some more mothers had to mourn. The bloody carnage continued unabated, this time for the families of Rashid Ali, Shafi Mohammad and Mirza Rind. Rashid Ali was the vice president of Baloch National Movement Mashkey zone whereas Shafi Mohammad and Mirza Rind were political activists belonging to Kalat and Hub respectively. At least four other political activists, mostly students, were also abducted two weeks ago.
This is not the first time that the powerful Pakistani establishment has introduced its kill and dump policy; the Baloch nation has witnessed many such episodes. They have been under ongoing assault since 2001, when the fifth military operation in the mineral-rich province started but it accelerated in mid-2010 when the bodies of missing Baloch persons started appearing. According to the International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, an organisation mainly comprising family members of the missing Baloch, more than 13,000 Baloch political activists, students, doctors, journalists and social activists are missing. This figure includes more than 200 women and children.
In these conditions, with such hypocrisy and with such an extent of brutality, the invitation for peaceful talks and non-violence remains meaningless. Though the prime minister renewed his earlier pledge and said, “We are ready to go to the doorsteps of angry Baloch leaders to resolve issues through table talks,” which Baloch leader will actually shake hands with a person whose men are killing non-violent political activists on a daily basis? Prime Minister Gilani had earlier assured that the missing persons will start returning home soon. He did fulfil his promise and disappeared persons started appearing, unfortunately, as mutilated and tortured bullet-riddled bodies. More than 300 missing persons have been killed in detention since then.
But the oppressors must never forget that Balochistan has never been a piece of cake for occupiers and intruders. Through brutality and murder, they can earn the anger and never-ending bitterness of the Baloch but not their sympathies.
On the other hand, the criminal silence of the media, judiciary, human rights organisations and so-called Baloch nationalist leaders is beyond comprehension. The media and the judiciary keep concentrating on non-issues but turn a blind eye to brutalities and human rights violations by state-run agencies. The most shocking aspect of all this is the confusion amongst Baloch nationalist leaders. While the leaders remain confused, the killers and bloodthirsty vampires are not. These leaders should not forget that they are in fact Baloch and they are answerable to the Baloch nation for their criminal role. Instead of giving statements on non-issues, these leaders should understand their responsibilities and try to guide the public on countering these inhumane killings. No doubt this is not possible without unity but unity should not be at the expense of ideologies and rights.
On 28th July 2011 the New York based non-governmental organization HRW published a report on “internationally overlooked” alarming crisis of Balochistan. Though the 132-page report “We Can Torture, kill, or Keep You for Years” failed to cover all grave violations of Human Rights but still it was comprehensive enough to portray the brutalities practiced by Pakistan Army in mineral-rich land of poor Balochs. The report documents dozens of enforced disappearances, where the detainees are kept incommunicado in illegal detention centers in Army and FC cantonments. The detainees are then tortured viciously and finally killed cold-bloodedly by fanatic and extremist soldiers who only know them as “infidel” and Indian agents. The ordeal of Nasir Digarzai shows a painful and lingering glimpse of what basically happens in those illegal detention centers.
The report details 45 cases of illegal disappearances and abductions of Baloch political activists, journalists and intellectuals. The well-known cases mentioned are abduction of Baloch political leaders Abdul Ghaffar Langove and Mehboob Wadela. Mr. Langove was kidnapped in front of dozens when he was visiting his wife in a hospital in Karachi. Whereas while traveling to Gwadar Mr. Wadela was intercepted by personnel of intelligence agencies near Yousuf Goth Karachi. There are dozens of witnesses in both cases of daylight abduction. Subsequently both leaders were killed extra judicially by death squads of Pakistan Army and ISI in military detention centers and then dumped in barren lands of Balochistan.
Other prominent leaders kidnapped by Pakistani Intelligence Agencies include Ghafoor Baloch (BNM), Zakir Majeed (BSO-A), Sangat Sana Baloch (BRP), Jaleel Reki (BRP) and Doctor Din Mohammad (BNM). Ghafoor Baloch a father of one was the only earning hand of his family. His family is living in very poor conditions after his abduction. Almost all other families of abducted Balochs are going through same sufferings.
This report is one of a very few international expressions of concern on human rights violation and war crimes in Balochistan where a middle class society has waged a war of independence against oppression. This report and a few others of this kind succeeded in forcing some international journalists and human rights organizations to notate about this frightening crisis. The world came to know how a state with a mighty Army is brutally killing unarmed political opponents. Finally the doomed people of Balochistan achieved the attention of humanitarian groups but at a very heavy price.
The obvious unhappy child of the story was Pakistan and its military whose brutal secrets were now unveiled in front of an international community. The confused and angry spokespersons of Army and FC started using their coveted tools of denying everything. They concocted stories and narrated them with great confidence on state media, which are either financially supported or threatened by military agencies to present their devised facts.
Director general of ISPR Major General Obaidullah Khan while talking to media said that the report tried to malign the law enforcement agencies by not projecting their good deeds. He further called for probing the funding of these organizations. Someone should ask this gentleman (who is basically not gentle when it comes to Balochistan) does few developmental projects justify the killing of 200 and abduction of thousands of unarmed political activists?
Accusing human rights organization and international community is not something to get surprised about in this state. Brutal regimes have always used such tools to hide their callous activities. But states should also know that denying truth on an international platform wouldn’t help them. HRW is not Insar burney “trust” which will modify its reports for monetary incentives or shun its activities due to threats.
Another officer of ISPR on a TV channel recited very funny and contradictory statements. Answering to a question by anchor he shamelessly linked these killings to other political parties and armed groups who are struggling against oppression. He then said the law and order situation in Balochistan has improved enormously and the law enforcement agencies have broken the backbone of Baloch nationalist groups. He added that these armed groups are no more able to operate freely.
A person even with a very little intellect can sense the contradictions in above statement. If the backbone has broken and these groups cannot operate freely then who are these armed to teeth cherubs who abduct political activists in daylight in front of hundred of witnesses and then kill them. If for a moment we believe what the army officer said then a question arises why on earth these armed groups want to kill nationalist political activists who in masses speak in their support?
Another Pakistani officer Lieutenant-General Javed Zia denied that the missing Baloch were kidnapped and killed by army. Instead he said some “patriotic elements” have hit those who burn Pakistani flags.The term “patriotic elements” shows a soft corner by Pakistan Army for these brutal killers who do not even refrain from beheading political prisoners. Some videos have also surfaced in which these “patriotic elements” can be seen enjoying lavish food with army brigadiers.
This state, having no courage to face bitter realities, has always lived under state of denial. But it must also know that a crow cannot become white by washing itself with soap. It has to stop the grave violations of human rights and hand over the land and resources to their native owners instead of using fashionable tools of denials.
September 7th,2011 Politics
It was the March of 2007 when the Pakistani nation witnessed an abrupt hike in Black coat prices. The protests for the restoration of deposed judges heartened a many to alter them as lawyers. The Pakistani economy jolted like the earthquakes of Kashmir. The Stock exchange experienced an abrupt collapse. The poor daily wage earners starved for days. And off course blood-shed and carnage are the sturdy attributes of such remonstrations in Pakistan.
The toppled CJP Iftikhar Chauhdry along with “Politicians turned lawyers” succeeded in convincing many through their captivating debates. But no one was bothering as the much awaited justice was in the vicinity. What can be more fine-looking than outright justice for a country privileged with injustice and discrimination from its inception? The country was promised uncontaminated justice and equality.
“The recovery of missing persons will be the top priority of Judiciary. The missing persons will re-join their families as soon as possible.” assured the Chief Justice
The nation daydreamed the injustice as the tales of past for a point of time. The poor Baloch nation, which has a familiarity with cruelties and malice from the day they were annexed with Pakistan, didn’t let go a single chance of building castles in the air. The families of missing persons were praying for their “Seraph” to be reinstated as soon as possible.
And a day came when the agitations and prayers brought an outcome. The Judiciary was reposed in Pre-March state. Mr. Iftikhar Chauhdry, a domicile holder of Balochistan was once again the Chief Justice; The country rejoiced! The lawyers observed days of celebrations.
Now the time came for furnishing the promises made. Now was the time to give back to the ones who lost a lot during the movement. But it was all the “Pakistani style”. The promises here are made to be broken. The CJP was no exception and he repeated the norms of his predecessors.
The CJP fond of taking suo motu notices took a lots of suo motu notices on pseudo problems but failed to address the real issues. Someone needs to enlighten the CJP that the real problems of nation are not prices of tomatoes and traffic but the matter of missing persons. The people here can manage to live with the hectic traffic but cannot breathe happily without their loved ones.
The issue of missing persons has turned very grave since June 2010 as more than 90 Baloch missing persons have been torture murdered in custody till date. But the suo motu notice taker which does not let go a single chance of maligning the PPP government fails to do so on the atrocities committed by military agencies.
Amusingly the honorable court has no information of any kind about the recent developments in Balochistan. Justice Javed Iqbal in his remarks during a recent hearing of missing persons case mentioned only two abductions whereas more than 50 persons have been abducted or murdered only in the month of January. These include six mutilated bodies recovered within less than 48 hours in first week of January. The victims include newly-wed Ahmed Dad and a minor Zakaria Baloch who both were political activists.
The only step taken to address the issue of missing persons has been a red-tapeism technique of commission formation. The commission instead of providing a solution has further deteriorated the problem due to its non-serious behavior. Only a slight more than 200 cases have been considered by the commission whereas the complete details of at least 1100 missing persons have been made public by nationalist parties. This figure (1100) is based only on the cases which have been reported in Balochi media. In reality thousands of Baloch political activists, students and common people have disappeared without any trace.
It is interesting to note the cases considered by commission are only those which have been registered with the commission by families of missing persons. This means the family has to travel all the way long from the remote areas of Balochistan to Islamabad to get their cases registered, which is impracticable for poor Balochs living in Kohlu and other areas.
Though Unlike the Balochs the missing persons from extremist Islamic parties are getting more than the due consideration. A recent stern action by courts for 11 missing persons abducted from Adiala Jail is a single example of many of its kind. The immense disparity between both issues raises a lot of questions. Is Balochistan not under the jurisdiction of Judiciary or after getting used to Mullah-Military Alliance and Military-Media Alliance we have to get familiar with a new term Mullah-Military-Judiciary Alliance?
The fallen blood, the starvation, the economic slumps couldn’t change the rituals of this country. The movement was so rightly called “Black Revolution” and it is one in reality. It couldn’t succeed in showing a ray of light to doomed public. People are still dying. The Agencies continue to abduct and now even don’t refrain from murdering the Balochs. Nazism is prevailing in Balochistan. And no ray of hope could be seen from anywhere until and unless interference from International humanitarian organizations is sought.
January 31st,2011 Politics
Each action we do is founded by a perceived legitimacy, whether the action may be lighting a candle or “burning a fire”. Though the certainty of having the right justification varies as more people are staked on the particular step we take. More specifically when we hurt someone, emotionally or physically then the legitimacy of the action requires more firmness. The theory of self-justification given by Leon Fistenger assumes that people are not rational in justification rather are rationalizing, in other words they are not much motivated to be right rather to believe that they are right.
The same theory also state that the interpretation of reality is distorted in order to reduce the dissonance we have in our perceptions. If we find out something which contradicts with the believes we have, we move into psychological discomfort, people amongst us who are more into self admiration become aggressive when they face any such information or contradicting information. Hence we may state that behind the aggressive actions we take, psychologically we go through distorting the reality in the way we wish it to be and then justify the actions we take.
This phenomenon can be applied on the violence occurring in our society, though I would connect it with the present vicious actions of Pakistan army in Balochistan, and the support of Pakistani people for those actions.
Pakistan, the “land of pure” where history is modified as per needs of the time, the founder of nation is sometimes labeled an Islamist and often a Secular and liberal according to the need. Presently what we are “told” is that Pakistan was made on the principles on Islam and that it is the fortress of Islam in the present era, people working against any of the factor in this country are actually working against the God who created this world, the God who would decide whether or not are we going to eternally enter into paradise or not. This phenomenon helps in justifying all the wrong doings committed to secure the interests of the ruling class. In Balochistan, where the “Indian” funded “ungodly” Balochs have stood to secure their “ungodly” rights… therefore they have chosen their destiny to burnt in hereafter and the people of the land of pure must arrange their meetings with the God by torturing the infidels to death, and throwing their mutilated bodies on the roads built to facilitate the multinationals (infidels? No way as they are funding the pure to dump “impurity”) to extract minerals from the holy part of the land of the pure… Balochistan… And this must be a declaration of war against all those who stand against the “pure” corruption, “pure” human rights abuses, “pure” distorting journalism, “pure” “Qadris” or even the “pure” manipulation of religion.
In Balochistan, the saviors of the fortress of Islam have presumed their sacred responsibility eagerly to eradicate the “impure” right seekers in Balochistan. In order to accomplish this objective of theirs Pakistan army has formed the “Al Badar” and “Al Shams” of time, known as the “Sipah Shuhdae Balochistan”. Baloch students, lawyers and writers who were abducted by uniformed personals of Army accompanied by Police in front of dozens of eyewitnesses were torture murdered, and later on the responsibility of the murders were accepted by the above mentioned.
In a statement Ghazi Abu Muslim the leader of Sipah-e-Shohada (Mullahs) said that these “Agents of Angraiz (the term used for west) and India” are creating trouble in Pakistan for the sake of money from other countries. “They are killing innocent Muslims and making Baloch Nation to go astray”. The statement warned the Balochs that whoever kills innocent Muslims and talks against Islam the Sipah-e-Shohada will not spare them. Whoever creates turbulence in the country they will meet their destiny, vowed.
Similar statements can be found in the history of Pakistani atrocities, when Al-Badr (Mullahs) was formed for targeting Bengali students, writers and intellectuals. The head of Al-Badar Motiur Rahman Nizami wrote an editorial on Badr Day 1971 in “Sangram”, the official paper of Jamaat Islami, “Unfortunately, a number of infidels (Bengalis) have taken their (Indian) side and are trying to weaken us (Pakistan) from within. We have to foil their conspiracy and protect the existence and ideal of Pakistan. This is not possible only by defensive action…It is our luck that the Islam-loving youths of this country have been able to form the Al-Badr unit with the help of the Pakistani military…The youths of Al-Badr have renewed their pledge on this occasion…to stand next to the army to defeat the Hindu forces and annihilate Hindustan and hoist the flag of Islam all over the world.”
There are lots of similarities between “Then-Mullahs” and “Now-Mullahs”. The concern that arises is that the same justification, with the same perception of reality, and with the same foundations of legitimacy there is a possibility of yet another massacre, which seems to have already started as the brighter side of the Baloch society is being targeted. Can we assume that the religious manipulators (Pakistan army) are following the genocidal measures of their predecessors? If it is so, then would we also, as rational humanitarians repeat what our “rationalizing” antecedents did to support the atrocious massacre of the “impures” in Bangladesh.
January 21st,2011 Politics