Tootak – By Sanjar Baloch

Our small village of Tootak, where songs of happiness were sung, changed to the sound of crying and screaming on February 18, 2011. My son, my father, my brother, it was the only sound that echoed in the ears.

What could be the reason that this beautiful voice turned into a painful one? It was 7:00 in the early morning.It was raining a lot that day. When I opened my eyes, I looked around. There were no one in that room and the sounds of gunfire were echoing over there. And a proclamation was coming from the nearby mosque in our village, saying, “All the people of the village hand themselves over to us. When I walked out of the room to find my family, I noticed that everyone in one of the rooms was stuffy and very scared. I asked what happened? No one was answering and Mum said come and sit here.

The shooting continued to hover towards our house without stopping. At that moment someone pushed hard on the door of our house and seven to eight gunmen entered. As soon as they arrived they asked my family some questions and they started searching our house and one of them shouted to my mother asking me to leave this house with their children and at that time we were very scared and very worried. When we left the house, there were many more armed men standing outside. At that time we went to the homes of our relatives in a world of despair and helplessness, those people were also very scared.

In a few moments the gunmen who were with the forces set fire to our house and left there. But they took some 30 to 40 people into custody, including our uncles, our grandparents and our relatives. On the other hand, many of our lands were cultivated in the villages by my uncle Naeem Baloch and Yahya Baloch, who were members of BSO Azad.

That night they both slept there to protect the fields where they were both martyred by Pakistani forces for no reason. Some of those who were taken away were released. But 16 members of our family including 80-year-old Mohammad Rahim Khan Baloch, the father of Naeem Baloch, who was martyred in the Juka field, are missing so far, including his other 15 grandchildren

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