Threats to Baloch University Lecturer, Poetess Nausheen Qambarani
Nausheen Qambrani is a well-known Baloch poetess and an English language lecturer at the Sardar Bahdur Khan Women University in Quetta. She is a respected social activist and human rights defender in Balochistan. For the past one week, unidentified people have constantly harassed her with death threats.
Talking to the Vsh News, the first Balochi news channel, she said unknown armed men had been issuing her death threats. They had come to her house, shouted, used abusive language and left threats, warning to abduct or target kill her and her little daughter.
Driving in a vehicle without a valid number plate on July 31, 2012, unknown people came to the street in Satellite Town where Ms. Qambarani’s house is located but she was not at home at the time of what seemed like a raid. The raiding party tried to abduct a Pashtun boy who works as a domestic helper at Ms. Qambarani’s house but the boy was rescued by the virtue of intervention from the neighbors, she informed.
Qambrani says she aims to educate the Baloch people.
In 2011, she joined the Sardar Bahdur Khan Women University. Previously, she worked as the Provincial Coordinator at South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK)
Ms. Qambrani is the daughter of late Professor Nadir Qambrani, who was a renowned education specialist, poet and short story writer of Brahvi, Balochi and Urdu languages. His poetry is explicit reflection of patriotism. He was among the selected group of individuals who had tirelessly worked in Balochistan for the promotion of education. He was the first man in the province who publicly declined a presidential award by former President General Pervez Musharraf, which was bestowed to him in recognition of his meritorious literary services, in protest against the military operation in Balochistan.
Threats to Ms. Qambrani are alarming for Baloch intellectuals, writers, journalist and teachers because they are the cream of the society and instrumental in bringing out a change by educating the masses. Such people are the eyes, ears and voices of the nation. Unfortunately, the Baloch nation is being deprived of its key voices and educators. The targeted killing of Professor Saba Dashtyari (University of Balochistan), Naeem Sabir (Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Khuzdar), Lala Hameed (Gwadar Press Club), Munir Shakir (Khuzdar Press Club), lawyer Zaman advocate, Rahmat Shaheen (a journalist from Bolan District) and many others are a few among several other instances of losses inflicted on the Baloch nation.
The moves against Baloch intellectuals and target killing of high-profile teachers who can be a source of creating awareness among the people is not a breaking news in Balochistan but now the brazen assault on the residence of Nausheen Qambrani is deeply alarming. This is not just a threat to one person but hundreds of the other Baloch women lecturers, social activists and female teachers who share Ms. Qambarani’s vision of educating the Baloch nation and bringing out a social change.
One could have looked at the judiciary for justice but unfortunately the judiciary has not done much even in the case of the missing Baloch persons. So, it is futile to hope that the judiciary can be much help in this regard.
Therefore, international human rights organizations, journalists, lectures and women’s rights organizations should play a proactive role in raising voice against these alarming trends in Balochistan in order to make sure that female professionals in Balochistan are protected at all costs. It is also the duty of political parties and professional associations to raise voice against threats to Ms. Qambrani and ensure her safety.
Yousaf Ajab Baloch is a Staff Member at The Baloch Hal. To read more articles by him, please click here
Published in The Baloch Hal on August 1, 2012