The Baloch nation at home and abroad observes on 13 November of every year as the National Remembrance Day (Baloch Martyrs Day) to commemorate the struggle and sacrifice of Khan…
Balochi TV Online brings the plight of Qalandarani family to notice of International media
Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 01:31 pm
In Occupied Balochistan, the Pakistan state has blatantly indulged in the deepest depths of tyranny. Today; across Balochistan, almost every Baloch family have been affected from Pakistan’s army, FC and its notorious ISI’s atrocities. The victims are the loving fathers & mothers, sisters, brothers, relatives close friends, and next-door neighbours.
Since Pakistan’s military and state’s institutions have completely blacked out the media on the ground in Balochistan. BTVO is making a tireless effort through its anonymous correspondents; to highlight the harsh realities of the situation in occupied Balochistan.
We have recently obtained testimony from one such Baloch family currently residing in Afghanistan. The Qalandrani family are the innocent victims of a Pakistani forces military operations in their homes and entire towns at the Tutak, Khuzdar region. The very same region where state authorities themselves acknowledged the discovery three Mass Graves in January of 2014.
According to an urgent appeal from Amnesty International in February of 2011; 10 men were taken into custody by the Pakistan military forces on February 18, along with 19 others, during a Frontier Corps (FC) search operation in the town of Tutak, in Balochistan’s Khuzdar district. The remaining 10, most of whom belong to the Qalandarani family, have not been seen since the February 18th military operation and are at risk of torture as well as extrajudicial execution.
The 10 missing detainees included 80-year-old Mohammad Raheem Khan Qalandrani, Atiq Mohammad Qalandrani, Khalilur Rehman Qalandrani, Wasim Rehman, Nisar Ahmed, Aftab Qalandrani, Naseb Rehman Qalandrani, Dr. Mohammad Tahir Qalandrani, Fidah Ahmed Qalandrani and Nadeem Qalandrani.
Although Amnesty International urged the Pakistan authorities to determine the fate of the 10 still missing people, who were abducted during the military operations; the Pakistani authorities “categorically rejected the allegations” and refused to participate in any international investigation.
As a result of the state’s severe persecution of the Qalandarni family, they had no choice but to flee from Balochistan to Afghanistan. They had prosperous lives in Balochistan living in peace, but the occupier state’s sinister activities and the Pakistan army’s aggression has destroyed their family and plunged their lives into complete disarray.
The entire Qalandrani family included its elders, children, and relatives have become victims of Pakistan’s army, while the UN and International Human Rights Institutions remain reluctant to intervene, opting to silently observe Pakistan’s routine crimes against humanity in Balochistan;. Nearly all the members of the family have been whisked away one by one by the Pakistani army. Their family houses were torched and destroyed and their beautiful green farm lands have been occupied by Shafeeq Mengal’s notorious Musallah Difa death squad.
We at BTVO reached out to them so they might share their painful story in their own words for the world to hear. The Qalandrani family agreed to provide the following recorded interview to detail the abduction of their family members and expose the Pakistan state’s targeted persecution of their family.
BTVO: Please describe for us the events surrounding the military operation, invasion of homes and abduction of your three sons and other relatives in February of 2011 by Pakistan Security Forces?
Answer: In the morning we were sitting at our home. Suddenly gun shots boomed. We went outside, meanwhile other neighbors also left their houses they came out. We saw Pakistani army surrounded and besieged the entire village. I directly went to my farm tube well location. I wanted to go & check on my sons Mohd Naeem and nephew Mohd Yahya are to make sure they were alright because they were there. But, the forces didn’t allow me to go near the tube well. The Army had fully surrounded the farm tube well perimeter. I quickly returned back to my home to see my other children’s Ubidullah, Mohd Sadiq and Karim Nawaz. Forces arrived there & entered my home. Forces asked me where is your sons Ubidullah, Mohd Sadiq and Karim Nawaz? The army soldier pulled out three bullets from his pocket displayed them to me. He said, “On each these bullets your children’s names are written. We want to kill them with these three bullets.” I replied back, my sons are not here. Forces then started to torch our houses. For 15 hours forces raided the entire village and assaulted peoples.
From my house (Pakistani) forces have abducted Waja Mohd Rahim, my son Mohd Thair, three grandchildren’s and other relatives. After this incident within 5 months forces martyred Maqsood in Quetta. His body was thrown away on open field. Our relative picked his dead body from the spot. For the past 5 years, we have been unaware about the rest of other family members’ circumstances.
BTVO: Do you have any idea why your family members were taken during the military operations?
Answer: My brother Mohammad Naeem was a member of the BSO-Azad. He was the president of Tutak Zone. Baloch Student Organization (Azad) is political org. It’s peacefully struggling for an independent Balochistan. Pakistan is punishing us simply for being a Baloch. It’s not only my family in Balochistan being victims of Pakistani atrocities. It’s the entire Baloch nation which is facing the state tyranny.
BTVO: Can you describe your experience while you were in the custody of the Pakistan security forces?
Answer: In Balochistan, Pakistani is abducting the Baloch’s from all walks of lives. Be they shepherds, students or Engineers. State illegally abducts, tortures then “killed & dumped” their bodies. My cousin Maqsood was picked up by forces during the military operation. They martyred him and threw away his body. His body bore torture marks. The multiple wounds visible on his body made it clear that before his death he was severely tortured & then killed. We are concerned our other relatives may share a similar fate.
BTVO: Were you or any of the abducted people formally charged with any crimes, granted due process or legal representation?
Answer: Our all relatives are innocents. There is no FIR or any cases are registered against them in any police station. Neither were they involved in any illegal activities. What kind of law is this? The forces by themselves invade civilians houses without any explanation or any crime; forces assault and abduct then “kills & dump” them.
BTVO: Do you have any knowledge of the current whereabouts or wellbeing of those who are still in custody?
Answer: Pakistani army from of us abducted peoples. In our home town at Tutak mass grave have been discovered. Approximately 165 dead bodies were found. We are deeply concerned our relatives may be among the bodies recovered from the Mass graves.
BTVO: On January 25th of 2014 Mass Graves were found in the Tootak Khuzdar region, do you believe some of the people abducted in 2011 may have been among the bodies found in the mass graves?
Answer: Once we heard about the mass graves. We became worried from the beginning, the Pakistani forces may have martyred them. We are still concerned. We don’t know if our loved ones are in custody facing torture or they already killed & dumped. Balochistan high court set up a commission for recognizing of dead bodies found in Khuzdar; but, it seems they have yet to show any results.
BTVO: Can you tell us what your life has been like since the military operations and abduction in 2011?
Answer: Before this military operation we have had a very prosperous lives. Our kids were going to the schools, colleges and universities. I was attending Tutak girls’ school with my niece. After military operation Shafeeq Mengal’s local death squad with the support of Pakistan army; they occupied our agriculture farms & have come after the remaining family members to harm them. Due to their threats, we had to flee in Afghanistan.
We went to the UNHCR. We told them our tale and registered as a political asylum seekers. Since then 14 months has passed. We have registered our cases with the UNHCR, but we are awaiting for the reply and their support. Here (in Afghanistan) we have been facing a tough time because living in your own homeland compare to living in a foreign land is a big difference.
BTVO: Do you now feel that your personal safety is still in jeopardy?
Answer: Here in Afghanistan, we are not safe either. In Afghanistan, since 35 years’ war is going on. Pakistan’s has strong influences here. Quite many time Baloch’s have been targeted and killed (here in Afghanistan). We don’t feel safe here. We are concern about our safety.
BTVO: We understand that Amnesty International has issued an urgent appeal to the Pakistan government to release your family members, has their appeals produced any results?
Answer: From Amnesty International appeal we didn’t see any impact. Since our Amnesty appeal (Pakistani) forces has abducted my cousins Imtiaz Ahmed, Zia Ullah and Mustafa Qureshi. During the past five years 15 of our family members have been forcefully abducted. Our hearts are pounding, that we too like other Baloch’s in custody were tortured and killed by forces.
BTVO: Do you intend to continue efforts to help recover those who are still missing? And if so how do you intend to proceed in these efforts?
Answer: We tried our best for releasing our family members. Two times we have held the press conferences at Quetta Press Club. We through the media have conveyed our cry to the world. My brother gave BBC Urdu an interview. We provided our abducted family members name to the representatives of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons. The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons has been holding hunger strikes camp in Quetta, Karachi and other cities for many years. VBMP held the long march from Quetta to Karachi & from Karachi to Islamabad. But, so far none of Baloch missing persons have surfaced. We appeal the International Human Rights Institutions & civilized democratic world institutions to pressure the Pakistan’s till it releases our Baloch missing people. Pakistan’s should stop its tyranny & atrocities in Balochistan.
We at BTVO express our sincerest solidarity and deepest sympathies for the Qalandrani family as well as the countless other Baloch families who have also experienced similar tragedy at the hands of the Pakistan state forces. We’d also like to thank the Qalandrani family members for sharing their painful story and providing first-hand testimonial to the severe atrocities Pakistan is committing in Balochistan.