A tale of unending hope and expectations Written by: Sammi Baloch
My father! Our father! Our beloved father! Mehlab Jan’s father! Mansoor Baloch’s father and our father! But today we miss his compassion, love, support, and sense of protection. We are living in a cruel state of hoping against hope that one day our loving father will come back, and will surely return to us. But we are not sure when that moment arrives in our lives when we open the door of our house and see him standing outside. While living with this wish, not only we keep the door of our house open but also doors of our eyes, hearts, thoughts and ideas are waiting for his arrival to have a glance of that great personality; no one knows how much it is longing for us?
Where is he? In which circumstances he is going through? But I know where he is. And everyone knows but everyone tight his lips. But they have not the courage to tell where our father is? We know the reality but he is out of the reach of our hands.
If our father cannot access us, may the Almighty Allah send mana from heaven, by which we may be able to glimpse our father for once. Perhaps, these restive eyes would be dried up for a moment and the tumultuous ocean of desires could remain still.
We brother and sisters had a beautiful life. Mashkay is a wonderful place and our father has enhanced the beauty of Mashkay a little more because of his love and compassion for us.
I remember every moment because we passed our childhood along with our friends in a beautiful field of the date palms, in the jungle and nearby freshwater streams. Our loving father was fond of learning; despite poverty, he went for higher education. Extreme poverty could not crisscross his ambitions for getting education, as most of the people were forced to leave their education uncompleted to seek a employment.
My father Dr. Deen Jan adored his friends. Actually, I don’t know the exact number of his
friends. But after school and college when my father cleared his medical entrance exam, that time Dr. Allah Nazar and Dr. Mannan Baloch were closest friends of him. Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch and Dr. Mannan Baloch were one year senior to my father but together they had gatherings and political circles in time of BSO and later on, BNM. Some pieces of information I gathered from his friends and writings of his political Comrades.
My father was committed to his studies, also joined Baloch Student Organisation and tirelessly took part in so many political activities, mass meetings, rallies, political circles, and demonstrations.
Friends of my father always visited our home and all of them did love us. I still remember very well at the time of student politics, soon after the release from jail, great personalities such as Dr. Allah Nazar and Wahid Qamber visited our house.
I still remember their mutual respect, conversations, and repartees. At that time we were little kids but he called us and asked to sit with them. We also got the same fatherly love from all of his friends. We respected all of them as we give respect to our father. When my father became a medical officer, his job became a means for serving people. The medical job was not a profession for him rather he treated it as his duty and obligation to help the poor people.
What is the situation of poverty in Balochistan? How the backward areas’ people are living? Everybody knows still that, but they are silent. Hence, my father couldn’t see people in difficulties. He went any time when some were ill. He used to go to remote areas to assist patients and those who had no power of buying medicines, he provided them medicines too. He also let patients house and took the utmost care of them.
What I was most impressed by my father’s qualities was his bravery. My father is a brave and courageous person, he loves everyone and has a good nature. Due to my father, our home was a place of political gathering. My father’s political colleagues were presented in our house and discussed politics. Sometimes these discussions went hot and high. Hence mostly our father was out of town for political reasons. But whenever he returned, the entire atmosphere of our house would take a new shape as if it was a special occasion; and our home looked an abode of happiness.
When the friends of my father were there, as soon as their political discussion halted, they used to tease each other. Specifically, he had a strange sort of friendship with Dr. Mannan. They always made fun of one another and we really enjoyed it a lot. Now all of these stories remain only memories for us. After the abduction of our father, we lost all those happiness. Can someone tell me, will we be able to see such happiness again in our lives?
My father was a great lover of books. Not only he himself read books but also brought child books for us. Normally he never scolded us, but about the educational matter was very strict. He was fond of poetry and music, and he always sang revolutionary songs and songs of martyrs such as of Shafi, Assad, Omar, and others. Several times I listened to him singing “Nana tena areer zindanti” likewise he usually sung many other Balochi and Brahui songs.
In 2005 our father took us to Khuzdar for better schooling, and there we started basic education. At that time my sister Mehlab Jan and my brother Mansoor Jan were so small. After our school classes, he used to teach us at home. He also taught us on politics as we became somehow mature then he told us about the freedom struggle and their leaders, for examples Maxim Gorki, Lenin, Laila Khalid, and other revolutionary leaders. He told that if you want to be a great personality like Laila Khalid, take the fear out of mind forever. Fear is a big weakness of human. That time we could not understand his teachings. Initially, I was even confused about his political discussion with friends.
When we were in Khuzdar on the occasion of organizational activities, many colleagues of my father came in our home. I still remember that Shaheed Ghulam Muhammad Baloch and Shaheed Dr. Manan Baloch came there. They used to listen to my younger sister Mehlab’s poems carefully. Whenever they came to our home, they asked Mehlab Baloch to read any poetry to them.
Later on, the situation took a drastic change. Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was martyred in 2006. After his martyrdom Shaheed Balach Marri was martyred. After that, there was strikes, protest, and demonstrations on a daily basis. The situation was getting worse with every passing day. And they began the policy of the abduction of people and "kill and dump". We had not the slightest clue that we would also become the prey of this ever raising Hurricane that would strike and destroy our house too, and let us homeless, and force us to live sometime on roads, sometime before press clubs and sometimes in a long march.
In 2009, Shaheed Ghulam Muhammad Baloch, Lala Munir Baloch, and Sher Muhammad were abducted and after six days, their tortured and mutilated dead bodies were discovered. Then this policy spread across Balochistan like a jungle fire. In such conditions, we were also fearful that like other political leaders and friends they will do the same thing with our father too. Whenever we tried to stop him he used to say “how can I endure this slavery? How I can sit at the home silently while Pakistan is dishonoring my motherland”. Whenever we asked him if something would happen to you then who would take care of us. He always replied to us with these words, “who will take cares of those families whose father are either abducted or martyred.
We were not so small, we understood the personality of our father that which kind of person he is and what he wants to do. His attitude showed that he loves everything about Balochistan. He always praised the beauty of Balochistan and said he smells the fragrance in the fresh air of Balochistan.
Due to my illness, my father called us to Quetta. I saw my father after a long time. All of us were very happy. He took me to a good doctor. For three to four days he was continually receiving a call from Ornach and asking him to come for an urgent job. He wanted to go back Ornach. We tried to stop him for more days but he told that he had to go right now. He promised us to come back soon.
Whatever we wanted he would do that for us and perhaps he would not get another chance in life. That time I couldn’t understand why my father was saying. Perhaps he knew that anything wrong can happen to him. When he was saying goodbye to us, a strange fear engulfed me and I was feeling after that sunset, the sun would not raise for us again. I was feeling that would be last time I was saying goodbye to him in life. Tears rolled down from my eyes. He laughed and told that he would come soon."
As he went I tried to control my emotions and don't get panic. In order to remove my concerns, I phoned. He told he had reached safely. Anyone observes my feelings that would jump in conclusions that we human beings are so weak. But I believe no one is brave by birth, rather it is the given circumstances which make us strong.
On June 28, 2009, before the breaking of dawn, we received a call from Ornach that last night Pakistani intelligence agencies have whisked away Dr. Deen Muhammad. This news pushed our lives into the darkness where until today we are straying. Since that day we have been waiting for our father but still, nobody has given any updates about him. We have been waiting for him but don't see any end to this wait.
Our all happiness is linked to our loving father who is our breadwinner and guardian. After the abduction of my father, our lives have become a hell. Our education is disturbed. Younger sister Mehlab Baloch instead of doing school homework, always sits on prayer mate and prays for the safe recovery of my father. Mansoor Baloch wanted to play with his friends but all responsibilities of the house came to his shoulders.
My old grandmother Bibi Pari was so weak due to her old age and could not stand but the abduction of my father put more weight on her difficulties. The situation of my mother is even worse. She is always lost in her thoughts. I feel like our personal lives and emotions are dead.
The reality is that life is a burden for us. Neither we can live nor die. As if every day we taste our death. We are living with a blur hope that one day our father comes back to home and once again happiness will visit the door of our house. Till today we have saved all the things which my father brought for us; earring, ring and other things. I wish I could decorate all those happy moments which I spent with my father. I never knew that those all happiness would convert into sorrows and we live our lives to endure these sorrows.
I don’t know where my father is? And in what condition he is? What is happening to him? But I know one reality that he is in Pakistani military’s torture cells. The hope of his release will remain alive until our last breath. We are proud that we are children of a brave father. When I look at his bravery and sacrifices, these make me proud.