US citizen still missing in Pakistan!
By AHMAR MUSTIKHAN
WASHINGTON, DC -- The story of his disappearance is gruesome. The American citizen is traceless for four months now, widely suspected of being abducted by spooks of Pakistan’s infamous Inter Services Intelligence. A news item in a Pakistani vernacular daily said the body of an unidentified man, possibly an American spy, has been found near his home town in southeastern Pakistan. It’s unknown if he is already dead.
“Safdar Sarki was tortured and kidnapped from his apartment in Karachi on February 24, 2006. There were several witnesses who saw him being dragged and bleeding from his apartment. They also witnessed the kidnappers taking his laptop computer as well as other personal belongings,” said his American friend Pamela Jean Murtaza.
The rogue Pakistan Army is keeping mum.
According to the Amnesty International, “A group of 16 men in civilian clothes, at least one of whom was allegedly recognized as a senior police officer by eyewitnesses, reportedly took Dr Sarki from his apartment...”
My eyes turn wet with tears of gratitude when I think of my own fate as I was in imminent harm's way myself. Imagine my happiness on October 20, 2000 when I first arrived in the land of the Star-Spangled Banner. I can't describe the awesome feeling when I saw the Stars and Stripes and the Statue of Liberty. As I exited New York's JFK airport, dressed in my native baggy shirt and trousers, I turned around to see if someone was watching, lest they think of me as crazy, and I kissed the U.S. soil. I was like a bird out of the cage, migrating into heaven.
“How true it is,” I told myself, “That life begins at 40.”
My native region Balochistan divided among Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan has the dubious distinction of being called the land of the Islamic Bomb. It was there, in southwestern Pakistan, that a nuclear device was tested in May 1998. The region was forcibly annexed by Pakistan against the wishes of my people in 1947 when the British divided India. Using an annexed land for a nuclear test was the height of injustice in my mind. I protested through my writings.
My worst nightmare began after the Inter Services Intelligence, more infamous by its acronym I.S.I., began blackmailing me so that I would censor my own articles, including those denouncing the nuclear tests in my home region. I felt scared for my life. Thankfully I won a fellowship from the Society of Environmental Journalists and got my political asylum in the U.S. in 2001. I am now on my way to become a naturalized American.
The freedoms I have is a gift of America, I rejoice over them every day.
Sarki hailed from the northeastern Sindh province, which has issues with the majority Punjab province, stronghold of the Pakistan army, over distribution of water and resources. It seems like Sarki felt confident the authorities there would not harm a U.S. citizen and went to Pakistan, perhaps forgetting the fate of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped while investigating a story on Pakistani's I.S.I. chief General Mahmud Ahmed's links with the 911 terrorists. Islamic militants later released videos showing Pearl’s throat being slit.
“Safdar’s wife, Paras Sarki, and his children will be staying at my home beginning the evening of June 20. They will be here in the D.C. area for a week,” said Pamela Murtaza. She is seeking help of leading politicians from either party and the U.S. State Department to help ascertain the fate of the American citizen. Pamela Murtaza can be contacted at 703-992-0499 (home) and 262-412-7243 (cell).
(Writer Ahmar Mustikhan is the convenor of the World Baloch Jewish Alliance and is based in the DC area. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Baloch News Bureau Report
Mir Azaad Khan Baloch
The Government of Balochistan in Exile