Akhtar Mengal and Harbyar Marri: Brief story of abduction of teacher

On Sat, 5/25/13, Malek Towghi, Ph.D. <towghibaloch> wrote:

From: Malek Towghi, Ph.D. <towghibaloch>
Subject: Re: [balochi_culture] Balochistan Resolution for Independence [1 Attachment]

Date: Saturday, May 25, 2013, 5:42 PM

Dear Majeed Baloch,

I am well aware of Kachkol’s weaknesses, and I will think more about the possibility of his dirty role in the martyrdom of Waajah Ghulam Muhammad, Lala Munir and Sher Mohd Baloch. The reason I have been mentioning Kachkol is this: I want some one from the Baloch downtrodden communities also be at the forefront of the Baloch Resistance leadership so that we are not blamed as bigots and racists. In any case, I will try to be less generous about Kachkol in my future utterances. Thanks for your reminder.

No, Hairbiar did not slap me on the face though he is likely to have done that had he a chance … and I would definitely have responded the way you have suggested in addition to spitting on his face. Of course this rotten Marri, his boss Akhtar and their munshi Jan Dashti wanted to do more than just slapping on my face. Thanks to my American citizenship and the American passport which I had, they could do to me what they wanted. The details of what they did and tried to do will remain for some other time. The story in brief is as follows:

It was late March or early April, 1998. I was the Balochistan Chief Minister Akhtar Mengal’s Adviser for Education & Culture. Hairbiar was one of his Cabinet Ministers. One day, the Principal of a Quetta private school-college system (St. Francis Grammar School, Quetta) along with one or two of his colleagues came to see me in my office … in my above-mentioned capacity. They told me that Hairbiar was putting pressure on them to give a high position teaching post to an utterly unqualified lady … and through his secretary, he (Hairbiar) had threatened that if the lady was not appointed as asked, by such and such date, the school-college officials “would disappear for ever in such a way that nobody would ever know their whereabouts”. The Principal, a foreigner, Sri Lankan, I think, was scared and asked me what to do! Knowing that this was the only private school in Balochistan that was corruption-free and had maintained a high professional standard, I told the Principal to stand his ground, i.e. refuse the lady the appointment she and her husband desired; I assured him of my support when needed. Stupidly, I told the principal that Hairbiar would never indulge in such acts … and that the lady’s husband and the secretary were using Hairbiar’s name without his knowledge and permission. I sincerely thought that ‘my hero’ Khairbuksh’s son would never do such an unprincipled thing though I knew of the corruption of his two brothers, Changez and Gazzen, when they were Ministers in earlier Cabinets.

I heard nothing from or about the St. Francis Grammar School officials until about 7 p.m. of April 30, 1998 when, as usual, I had gone to Jan Mohd Dashti’s official residence. Mr. Dashti was the Principal Secretary of the Chief Minister, Sardar Akhtar Mengal. His home, official residence, was an informal leisurely evening meeting place for all of us, the BNP big shots, Ministers and officials. When I reached Mr. Dashti’s residence, the news of St. Francis School officials’ abduction which had taken place about half an hour earlier by some ‘unknown people’ was being discussed. I listened quietly. No body knew or pretended not to know who was/were involved in the abduction. Following Mr. Dashti’s lead, however, all agreed that the abduction must have been carried out by the Pakhtunkhawa Milli Awami Party in order to destabilize Akhtar Mengal’s government. It was too much for me, remembering what the School officials had told me about a month ago. I thought it was my moral duty to speak out, particularly remembering that I had assured them nothing would happen to them. Now their lives were in danger and innocent people, the Pakhtuns, were getting the blame. I broke my silence and almost shouted to get the attention and said something as follows:

‘Stop the nonsense. I know who has abducted the St. Francis School officials. It is our Minister Hairbiar Marri !. The school officials are being tortured right now in Hairbiar’s office, if not already dead and their bodies dumped in some unknown place.’ (As a matter of fact, I said this based only on my intuition. Thanks to God I was exactly right.)

All laughed, some saying: ‘Dr. Saaheb. we know you are a jazbaatee poet and that the poets dream a lot. Are you dreaming again? Some said: ‘How could you dare alleging such a thing to Nawabzadah Hairbiar Marri? I was adamant, and shouted again, asking the CM’s Principal Secretary, Mr. Dashti by name to please immediately find the Chief Minister on telephone; “I want to talk directly to him right now — before it is too late.” Now, there was complete silence. Jan Dashti approached me in his usual hypocritically friendly way, took my hand and said: “Malek Saheb, Let us go out for some ice cream; we will talk there.”

I knew it was simply a delaying tactic. Again loudly, I responded: “Dashti Saaheb, I am not going to any ice cream place. If you do not call the Chief Minister, the place I will go RIGHT NOW is the Quetta Press Club where I will tell the journalist that Hairbiar is the culprit and that you are conspiring to wrongly blame the Pakhtunkhawa Party.” I stood up, intending firmly to ask my driver to take me to the press club.

Well, seeing my determination, Dashti had no other choice. Grumbling, he asked me to wait … and moved to a private room to call his boss. After about 15 minutes, Dashti came back to the BNP crowd of Ministers, high officials and maha cronies, remarking tauntingly: “Malek Saaheb, Your friends will be free within an hour as you had demanded!”. They were indeed freed by Hairbiar. From Hairbiar’s office, in the darkness of night, the tortured captives were taken quietly in a dark place near the school premises and released — with the instruction not to tell anybody who had abducted them and what had happened to them..

The next day morning after meeting with the St. Francis School officials and knowing what had exactly happened, I sent an official note to my boss, the Chief Minister, Akhtar Mengal, obviously through the Principal Secretary, Mr. Jan Mohd Dashti, suggesting strongly that Mr. Hairbiar Marri should be asked to resign or be dismissed. After 24 hours, the response came: In bureaucratic language, I was “de-notified”; I was no longer Adviser to the Chief Minister, Balochistan, for Education and Culture. In simple language, instead of Nawabzadah Hairbiar Murree, I was dismissed and asked to leave the official residence within 24 hours. .

In a formal letter dated May 1, 1998 sent to their higher office in Hyderabad, the St. Francis School authorities reported as follows:

“On April 30, 1998 the folloing incident took place at St. Francis’ Grammar School, Quetta.

Around 6:30 p.m. Mr. Clarence Kahandawela (Principal), Mr. Augustin Gian (Internal Auditor CBEQ) and Mr. Yunus Barkat (Supervisor Matric Section) were abducted from the school premises at gun point by about five persons. They were released around 8.00 p.m. near the school premises.

The above-mentioned abduction was organized by Honourable Hirbiyar Murree, Minister C&W, who was demanding that one of the teachers of Grammar School, Mrs. Sadiqa Maaz, be reinstated. This teacher had been transferred from Grammar School to St. Michael’s School by Bishop Joseph Coutts, Chairman C.B.E., and the transfer order was later revoked due to requests made by friends of the institution. When her transfer order was revoked she was asked by the Principal to teach in the Primary Section, but she however insisted that she be put back to higher section. On several occasions her husband threatened the school administration of dire consequences if she was not appointed to teach in the higher section. On April 18, 1998 Honourable Hirbiar Murree had called the Supervisor of the Matric Section to his office and had demanded under threat that Mrs. Sadiqa Maaz be appointed in the Higher Section.

No sooner the above mentioned abduction took place, police officials and other government officials were informed. The news reporters too got the wind of it and were at the school within an hour. Meantime the abducted persons were taken to the Secretariate where they were subjected to intimidation and threat to achieve Honorable Hirbiyar Murree’s demand, that Mrs. Sadiqa Maaz be appointed to teach in the Higher Section. The abductees could hear Mrs. Sadiqa’s family in the next room laughing with the Honourable Minister, while the Principal and the Supervisor were being slapped and punched by the Minister’s guards. First, the Minister was angry and threatened the Principal and the Supervisor but after getting a telephone call he softened a bit and tried to be friendly. Later on it was known that some government officials, and even the Chief Minister had intervened, and had given the telephone call.

To the readers: Please send this to others including websites, blogs, groups/yahoogroups, papers, magazines related to Baloch affairs.

Malek Towghi / Tauqee,
Liaison, Baloch Human Rights International

To: “Majeed Baluch” <Majeed.Baluch>


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