Babu Mehrab’s Family: Enduring Decades of Collective Punishment and State Violence in Gwadar

Babu Mehrab’s family, residing in the Kulanch area of Gwadar, has a harrowing tale of pain and sorrow that no one should ever have to endure. For the past twelve years, their lives have been plagued by a collective punishment policy adopted by state forces. They have faced the worst kind of violence, with some members of their family being forcibly disappeared and even killed by the state forces.

The family’s agony began in 2012, when Haider, Babu Mehrab’s elder son, was abducted and forcibly disappeared by the Pakistani forces and has not been seen since. The family had held on to hope that he would one day return, but as the years passed, their hope began to fade.

Ameer Bakhsh, Mehrab’s nephew, was also abducted and forcibly disappeared on August 4, 2014, and has been missing for years.

Later, Babu Mehrab himself was abducted in 2014. He disappeared for a year before being released, only to disappear again on August 11, 2018. This time, he was killed while in custody, and his body was dumped.

The extrajudicial killing of Babu Mehrab traumatized the family, but the state forces did not stop there.

Recently, Hameed, Mehrab’s younger son, was also forcibly disappeared, leaving his wife and children to suffer. His uncle, Babu Mehrab’s brother Lal Bakhsh Mehrab, was brutally assassinated by state backed death squads in 2018.

Last year, one of Mehrab’s family members, Sabir, the son of Muhammad, was brutally killed in a fake encounter.

In recent days, on March 6, 2023, three other members of the same family were also forcibly disappeared by the Pakistani forces. Among them were Hameed, the son of Babu and a shepherd, Shahjahan, the son of Ghamdad and also a shepherd, and Waheed, the son of Haji Feroz, who is a student. On March 8, 2023, another member of the family, Rasool Bakhsh s/o Taj Muhammad, was forcibly disappeared while farming in his field. Two days later, on the night of March 10, 2023, Sabir, the son of Master Ghani, was abducted and forcibly disappeared by state forces during a raid while he was asleep with his children in his home. These incidents have left the family and the relatives in a state of shock and trauma as they struggle to come to terms with the cruel and unjust actions of those in power.

The family’s grief and pain were palpable as they mourned the loss of their loved ones and struggled to survive in a hostile environment. They had no one to turn to for help, as the state forces continued their campaign of terror with impunity.

The family’s women and children have not been spared either. They have been subjected to constant torture at home, as if the state forces want to break the family’s spirit completely.

It is a tale of immense suffering, but despite all the hardships, the family has not given up hope. They continue to fight for justice and for the return of their loved ones. They want the world to know what they have been through, and they want to ensure that no one else has to endure the same fate.

Their story is a testament to the human spirit’s resilience and the unbreakable bond of family. Even in the darkest of times, they have held on to each other, and they continue to stand together, hoping that one day they will see justice and peace.