11 years of Tootak Operation- A tale of love, loss and pain.

They say the most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained and that’s what has exactly happened with the Qalandarani family in Tootak. On 18th February 2011, Pakistani forces took numerous Baloch citizens in custody out of which 16 people have not been recovered even after prolonged delay of years. This is not the first time when Pakistan has stooped to such lower levels.

It has been 11 years when Military commenced an operation in Tootak area of Khuzdar district. 16 members of the same family went missing thereafter and their family members are still desperately waiting for the justice. Justice, which seems like a long lost dream to them now. On 18th February 2011, Pakistani military forces sieged the Tootak area which belongs to the Khuzdar district and raided each and every house present in the area. Their pain and trauma is unimaginable.

The operation continuously went on for several hours and military personnel took many people of Tootak in custody. Out of this, some were even released later but 80 year old Mohammad Rahim Khan Qalandarani and 16 others from the family are still missing. On the same day during the operation, the Pakistani forces arrested the family of Mohammad Rahim Khan Qalandarani and set their house on fire. Along with Mohammad Rahim Khan, others including Dr. Tahir, Fida Ahmed, Nisar Ahmed, Aaftab Nadim, Aasif, Jafar and Zia Ul were took into custody. Family forms an integral foundation of one’s identity and the absence of one leaves a vacuum in the hearts forever.

Aasif Qaldarani, kin of Mohammad Rahim Khan even lost his father in July, 2010. In Tootak, during 2014 an unnumbered graves were found in the nearby area of Khuzdar. The graves were randomly recognised by a shepherd. More than 100 dead bodies were found in these graves. They were in such deteriorated condition that some were even reduced to mere bones and skeleton so much so that they had become destroyed and damaged upto the level of unrecognition.

Discovery of these graves has substantially increased the strain and stress of Qaldarani’s family. Loss of loved ones haunts the family for years and when one is even unaware of the whereabouts, whether one is dead or alive, the misery is ineffable. For last 11 years his family has been appealing to the government to commence the search of their loved ones but even after years no trace has been found of those 16 people. The wait has been endless and the pain is even greater, far beyond one’s understanding. All we could do is to hope that justice will soon be served to the Qalandarani family and peace shall prevail on the lands of Balochistan.

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