According to the people who knew him, Hasnain Baloch, a first-year student in Quetta, was a beacon of hope and knowledge for the downtrodden and underprivileged. He reportedly taught several students and inculcated in their minds the need for education.
Four years later, Hasnain has continued his mission, this time in prison. Recently his photos have emerged teaching inmates in the Central Jail Karachi.
According to reports, Hasnain Baloch was picked up from Quetta in November 2018. He was charged with terrorism in the wake of the attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi and was shifted to the Central Jail of Karachi where he is serving his sentence. Hasnain’s brother, Jeeyand Baloch, and his father, Qayum Baloch, were also picked up alongside him during the raid on their residence.
After a series of demonstrations and protest rallies by his family members and Baloch human rights groups, Hasnain’s brother and father were released, but he was held in custody for months before the CTD made his arrest public in January 2019.
Family sources have revealed that Hasnain Baloch has accumulated a collection of books inside the jail that he uses to teach his fellow inmates. The family sources say that Hasnain always requests his visitors to bring him books and other educational materials, such as stationery and notebooks. Hasnain has put his knowledge on a mission – he is using his free time to educate his fellow prisoners.
Hasnain Baloch was charged for allegedly facilitating the attack on the Chinese Consulate in November 2018. He was apprehended along with five others, prosecuted in the Anti-Terrorism Court in Karachi and sentenced to jail. One of his fellow detainees was found dead inside his cell in the Central Jail Karachi under mysterious circumstances only a few days ago. He was identified as Arif Baloch and his family members allege he was murdered by the forces.
The Balochistan Post also learned from reliable sources that Arif Baloch was being extralegally questioned in jail without any court notice. The dead body of Arif Baloch also bore signs of torture when it was handed over to his family, thus confirming that he was tortured to death in prison.
Others who were charged for similar offences were found to be Baloch missing persons picked up from different areas of Balochistan. Abdul Latif Zehri is one such example – he was prosecuted on charges of terrorism and sentenced to jail. However, his family members claim that he was “forcibly disappeared” during his job as a factory worker in Karachi.
In the FIR following the attack on the Chinese Consulate in 2018, the officials had named Harbiyar Marri, Aslam Baloch and Rashid Hussain Baloch among the “perpetrators and facilitators of the attack.” Aslam Baloch was killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan in December of 2018. In the same month, Rashid Hussain Baloch was apprehended by Emirati intelligence agencies in Dubai and deported to Pakistan six months later. He is reportedly serving a sentence in an unknown prison somewhere in Pakistan but his whereabouts remain unknown.