Tales from the dungeon: Dr Yousuf Murad Baloch

This is first part of Balochistan Time’s Tales from the dungeon series in which former victims of enforced disappearances tell their ordeal. Dr Yousuf Murad Baloch was among the first victims. He was taken away from Karachi in March 2005 along with other members of the Baloch Students Organization (BSO). He now lives in Germany.

If you are an educated Baloch and you do not plan to appear in the competitive exams, or you have failed to mould your voice into a specific obedient tone always beginning your sentences with “sir”, or you do not believe in the divinity of the Pakistan army, then you are most likely to end up in a secret services-operated torture cell. Also, if in any way, you happened to have read the wrong books, you can be taken to a tour to dungeons for re-education.

The pain you are inflicted upon in these torture cells is of another level. Torture is an institutionalized science in Pakistan and your torturers follow a certain protocol to inflict maximum pain, break down your spirit and influence your thinking to fit into the official narrative.

Before I start telling my ordeal in military-operated dungeons, let me explain why … Read more

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Tales from the Dungeon: Dr Naseem Baloch

In the Tales from the Dungeon series of Balochistan Times, former victims of enforced disappearance recount their ordeal. Dr Naseem Baloch was forcibly disappeared twice. He was first whisked away by security forces in 2005 along with Dr Imdad Baloch, Dr Allah Nizar, Dr Yousuf Murad, Ghulam Rasool, Akhtar Nadeem and Ali Nawaz Gohar, all incumbent or former leaders of the the Baloch Students Organization (BSO). In 2010, he was ‘kidnapped’ again. He now lives in France as a political refugee.

It was March 25, 2005. Nauman Avenue Aparments, Gulistan e Jauhar, Karachi. The doorbell rang at around 3am. I woke up, opened the door and saw around 20 people in police and paramilitary uniforms. Some were in civilian clothes.

“What’s happening, sir,” I asked politely. In response, someone hit me with the butt of his AK-47 — once on my head and once on my neck, forcing me to collapse on the ground. They handcuffed my hands on my back and blindfolded me. I could hear my other friends being beaten and handcuffed.

We were thrown into a vehicle, barefoot, and driven to a secret military location.

They did not let us sleep for three nights. We were hanging, … Read more

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