Sehrish awaits justice – Sohaib Mengal

No one knows the definition of anguish, pain, melancholy and torture better than Sehrish Baloch. Sehrish, a student of 18 years old, lost almost every one of her family through unnatural deaths within a short span of few years. Her father died in his forties 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 would 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 hand 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 his mother and sister.

Sehrish’s brother Zubair Baloch, a young and handsome boy was a student of Balochistan University, where he was doing his masters in Psychology. Like many other students of Balochistan University he too was a member of Baloch Student Organisation –Azad. A platform in the form of BSO-A made him aware about his legitimate rights. This unfortunate boy now raised voice for his rights and hence committed a grave sin, for which he paid a very dear price. On 2nd October 2010 when he was on his way to his village to meet his family and Sehrish, he was abducted along with his cousin Asmatullah Baloch, who too was a member of BSO-A.

Sehrish knew her ordeal has started for another time because no one has come safe from the hands of those armed to teeth, white clothed personnel who travel in corolla cars and double cabin trucks. Nevertheless she started participating in protests for the release of his brother, cousin and many others but at the back of her heart she knew it would be of no help.

shaheed Asmatullah Sarparah

On 17th November, when everyone else was celebrating eid, Sehrish and her family received an Eid gift in the form of their cousin’s lifeless body with an amputated finger and several marks of cigarette burns and electric shocks. This hapless family had to wait forty more days to receive the body of Zubair Baloch on 26th December.

The young and handsome Zubair’s dead body was a skeleton wearing a skin. It seemed he was never given food to eat. The brutal torturers had tried their every 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 torture murdered 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 lone sister to cry. Their family is not the only one to curse brutal state machinery. Thousands of others either wait for the bodies of their loved ones or they have dried their tears, like Sehrish, on dead bodies. More than five hundred activists have been killed since June 2010 and it goes unabated without any one questioning the unquestionable authority given to the killers.

On 26th June, when the whole world is observing the International day against torture, designated by UN to emphasize the importance of the right to personal dignity and security of all individuals around the world, Sehrish wonders whether these all different days and these toothless organizations have anything to do with the Baloch. She awes whether the cruelties perpetrated on his brother’s body fulfil the definition and requirements of torture. She also thinks whether Baloch comes under the definition of “individual” defined by UN.

For Sehrish 26th June 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 one day instead of issuing reports these organizations will act on practical basis to eradicate anguish of her and thousands of other Sehrishs. She expects one day all Zubairs and Asmats will be released safe and the perpetrators will be brought to justice. She believes a day will come when she and many others will live a free life in a free state, where there will be no fear of any white clothed personnel.

But for now Sehrish awaits justice…

The writer is a CC member and international representative of BSO-Azad. He can be reached He tweets at


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