Friday May 24, 2013
The Selective Saintliness; Real Story Behind Release of Kidnapped Baloch FishermenSalem-News.com
A German journalist helped convince pirates to free 22 Baloch fishermen last November.
(Occupied Balochistan) - The fates of Baloch fishermen, who were under the captivity of Somali pirates for almost a year, have finally changed when a German journalist, Wolfgang Bauer, came in to help these formerly helpless fishermen. On 25th of November last year, these fishermen were finally released from Somali captivity and were back amongst their loved ones.
According to details, 11 Baloch fishermen, named; Nahuda Ibrahim, Saleh Muhammad, Huda Baksh Passo, Yunes Baloch and Tahir Baloch from Balochistans’ region of Pishukaan, Rahim Baksh from Paanwaan, Munir Ahmed from Guwader, Mohammad Rafiq and Qadir Baksh from Dasht (Turbat) and Muhammad Hanif and Muhammad Ali from Mashkay; were kidnapped by Somali pirates from open sea in the month of December, 2010.
According to the family members of the kidnapped fishermen, the ransom demanded by the pirates for the release of these fishermen was three hundred thousand dollars ($ 300,000). This much, even after knowing that these fishermen were unable to pay this sort of a ransom.
The pirates perhaps would have thought that in a country like Pakistan, with people like Ansar Burney who could pay 2.1 million dollars for four Pakistani seamen, would probably take the plight of these fishermen too, and arrange the sum of $ 300,000 of these “supposedly” eleven “Pakistani” fishermen...
What the pirates were unaware of was the status of Baloch nation in Pakistan and the history of the occupation of the motherland by Pakistan. The pirates didn’t know that they would have actually been saving some hard work for Pakistan’s establishment by killing these fishermen, as then Pakistan would not have to murder them and later on throw their dead bodies on the road side to instill fear amongst the Baloch populace.
In just one year, Pakistan has abducted and tortured murdered more than 250 Balochs and their dead bodies were dumped on the roadsides of Baloch populated areas.
Seeing no response from Pakistan, and supposed saints as Ansar Burney, the families of the kidnapped Balochs had probably lost all their hopes of having their sons, fathers, brothers and husbands back from the Somali pirates.
But in this moment of hopelessness, a German journalist, Wolfgang Bauer, stepped into the scenario and tried contacting the Pakistani embassy in Kenya in his efforts to get the fishermen released.
This effort of his was of no avail, and then he made contacts with the Kenyan government and other African officials, to negotiate a release of the fishermen.
With his efforts, the fishermen were released on 25th of November, 2011 without any payment of the ransom and he arranged tickets for the kidnapped to fly them to Kenya and from Kenya to U.A.E.
Finally when these fishermen were brought to Karachi airport, instead of any appreciation of his efforts for the release of these fishermen, the military agencies of Pakistan warned the journalist for not entering Balochistan and threatened him of dire consequences for doing so.
Bauer, for whom state torture was not a new concept, as he had already reported on the use of torture by Afghan and American authorities in Afghanistan, avoided taking these fishermen to their homes and helped the fishermen get basic medical treatment in Karachi on his own.
This story certainly highlights that there does exist humanity in this world, but it also highlights the mercilessness of Pakistan’s establishment and N.G.O.’s in Balochistan's cases.
Indeed the extremes of human destructive and productive attitudes are what can easily be derived out of this plight that the Baloch fishermen went through, the issue in question is, will the International Community choose to act like Wolfgang Bauer on the routine murders of Balochs by Pakistan army and become an example of the progress of Human civilization or would they choose to be Ansar Burney and be subjective when it comes to the terms “humanity” and “civilization”.
The 22 captives released after the pirates were paid $2.1 million in ransom, which was collected in collaboration by the Ansar Burney Welfare Trust (ABWT), the Sindh government and the shipping company that owned the hijacked ship.
Expressing disappointment on Tuesday at the government’s indifference to their plight, relatives of the kidnapped fishermen termed the administration and society “lethargic”.
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