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What can you do for Chakar Qambrani?

Posted on 11:04 PM by Shoaib Anwer

"What can you do for Chakar [Qambrani] and other missing persons," the young man from Quetta asked me on Facebook.

Chakar Qambrani, 32, father of four, an active member of the pro-independence Baloch Republican Party and a shopkeeper by vocation, was abducted from Quetta on February 6 this year by Pakistani intelligence services and nothing is known about him to this day.

The two girls in the picture are his daughters, Bebo, 12, and Sumairum, 10. On their fingers are the signs, BLA and BRP, two freedom-loving parties. The BLA stands for Baluchistan Liberation Army and BRP stands for Baloch Republican Party. The two secular outfits are engaged in a David and Goliath struggle against the world's fourth largest Pakistan army, by engaging in hit and run operations.

Chakar Qambrani is among more than one thousand Baluch missing persons, including 141 women, who were abducted by the Pakistan state forces and intelligence agencies. A list of the missing persons was provided by the Baluch resistance parties when United Nations High Commission for Refugees, John Solecki was abducted by the hitherto unknown Baluchistan United Liberation Front earlier this year.

I had no answers for Zaren Qambrani, 18, from Qilli Qambrani who befriended me on Facebook earlier Thursday.

On the website of Qambrani's party, Baloch Republican Party, an announcement under "Still Missing" reads:

Chakar Qambrani Baloch [member Central Committee, BRP] has been abducted by secret intelligence services of Pakistan from Quetta, and he is missing since February 6th, 2009.

Jalil Reki Baloch [Central Information Secretary of BRP] has been abducted by secret intelligence services of Pakistan from Quetta, and he is missing since February 13th, 2009.

Baluch hero Faiz Baluch, who faced jail in the United Kingdom last year at the behest of former military government of coup leader general Pervez Musharraf, assures the Baluch that independence is not only the solution but also imminent in Baluchistan. I hope and wish Faiz Baluch is right. Like myself, he is a dreamer, and we are lucky to be out of Pakistan and Iran intelligence reach.

Chakar Qambrani is among the more than thousand dreamers in Pakistani-occupied Baluchistan who want to see a better future for the Baluch from Chabahar to Sonmiani and from Zahidan to Dera Bugti.

A future where Baluch protesters, including women and children, would not be out on the streets chanting slogans humm lay kar rahaingay azadi, or "we shall not stop until we get independence." They would actually be independent and living their lives in peace like the people in the other Gulf states.

Chakar Qambrani vanished under a civilian government that says it espouses democracy. During this so-called democratic government headed by President Asif Ali Zardari some who vanished never returned but were embraced by the land they loved most and for whose freedom and pride they gave their lives.

Not one but many.

Like a young mother embracing her beautiful offspring who die early.

Three such heroes turned martyrs were Ghulam Mohammed Mohammed Baluch, 50, Lala Munir Baluch, 50, and Sher Mohammed Baluch, 35. They were abducted by the infamous Inter Services Intelligence agency from the office of their lawyer Advocate Kachkol Ali in Turbat on April 3 and their bodies were recovered from Pidarak foothill, outside Turbat, four days later.

Advocate Kachkol Ali tried his level best to get a case registered against the intelligence agencies but to no avail.

Noted Baluchistan journalist Malik Siraj Akbar, a reporter with The Daily Times, interviewed Advocate Kachkol Ali a day after the bodies of the three missing activists were recovered. I am repeating six paragraphs from Akbar's story:

"Around five to six other officials dressed in plainclothes walked inside my office. They were carrying guns in their hands; spoke Urdu; overpowered the Baloch leaders and tied their hands from the backside. Masks were also put on their faces and they were driven to an unknown place," said Kachkol Ali.

"Subsequently, Kachkol Ali and his lawyer friends went to the local police station to lodge a case against the colonels of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the Military Intelligence (MI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the commandant of the Frontier Corps (FC).

"'We were certain that our men had been whisked away by the intelligence agencies. The courts should have taken notice of the incident and asked the officials of these agencies to explain their position regarding the whereabouts of the Baloch leaders,' he said.

"On its part, the Turbat police said it could not register a case against the intelligence agencies. However, it agreed to jot down the details of the case in its daily diary. Later on, Kachkol Ali also wrote an application to the Balochistan High Court and appealed for immediate intervention. As luck would have it, there was no action taken by the court as well.

"Four days after the disappearance of the three Baloch leaders, their dead bodies were recovered in Turbat district.

"Had the judiciary acted swiftly, our important leaders would never get killed," says Kachkol Ali who directly holds the intelligence agencies responsible for the unprecedented murders. "

The three were tortured, shot in the head and their bodies dropped by a military helicopter, the family and friends of the deceased said.

Even Mir Hasil Bizenjo, a leader of pro-federation National Party who believes in working with Punjabis like former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, came out openly against the extra judicial murder of the three activists and demanded a trial of the chiefs of the omnipotent Inter Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence.

Later President Zardari absolved his country's intelligence agencies and said they were not involved in killing of the three. London-based Baluch national hero, Hyrbiar Marri, said Zardaris' defense of the intelligence spooks even before a proper inquiry into the killings was conducted shows how weak the Pakistani president was. "Baluchistan is being run by supra state actors, the intelligence agencies who answer to no one," Marri said.

Zaren Qambrani said a hunger strike was staged by children for Chakar Qambrani's release for one month and later his mother decided to sit on a hunger strike. She has given a 15-day deadline for release of her son which is going to end in two days, Zaren Qambrani told me.

I asked what does the deadline mean, Zareen Qambrani said after that the Qambranis would be free to do whatever they think fit to get justice.

"He is very decent and kind and took care of poorer Baluchs," Zaren Qambrani said about his missing cousin.

As these lines were being written, Pakistan was conducting renewed atrocities against the Baluch.

On Thursday, Frontier Corps personnel attacked a peaceful demonstration of student activists in front of the Quetta Press Club who were protesting the disappearance and torture of Fazal Sher Baluch. They beat up one activist who managed to run inside the Quetta Press Club to save his life.

While on Friday, a leader of the Baluch Student Organization [Azad] in Quetta, Qambar Chakar Baluch, was abducted by Pakistani state secret agencies from the Baluchistan capital as he was walking in front of the I.T. University in Quetta and taken to an unknown destination for torture.


Other than the two dayghters, Qambrani has two sons Mehmood, 9, and Bohir, 5, respectively.

When Qambrani's chidren were on hunger strike, the security forces showed guns to the chidren, threatened them and left them stiff scared, observers in Quetta said.

The security forces also took away the car Qambrani was driving at the time of his abduction.

I frankly do not have an answer for Zaren Qambrani, or for Bebo and Sumairum, but maybe the honorable secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon does have an answer for them. If he is Korean and Qambrani is Baluch, that does not make any difference. Notwithstanding widespread reports of corruption at the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon represents the conscience of humanity.

We hope his office would pressure Islamabad to immediately release all the Baluch missing persons, including Chakar Qambrani and Jalil Reki.

But this is the first baby step towards complete pullout of the Pakistan army and Frontier Corp, who are total aliens to Baluchistan -- as the name itself says Baluchistan means the land of the Baluch and the world must stop the cruel joke against the Baluch natives.

The United Nations must respect the national aspirations of the Baluch. Honorable Mr. Ki-moon, Bebo and Sumairum need your help.