Ammar al Baluchi’s cousin, Muhammed Hussain Baloch, tells us about Ammar’s background, and questions why he is still held in Guantanamo bay.
In the name of God, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful.
My name is Muhammad Hussain Baloch. I live in Karachi. I have lived here for about 43 years and I retired two years ago.
Ammar al Baluchi is my close relative. I don’t know why he has been arrested for so long and detained over there.
We are from the Baloch tribe. The Baloch live across the borders of Iran and Pakistan. In Pakistan the Baloch have been present for a long time. In fact, they have been here for much longer than Pakistan has existed.
The elders, Ammar’s paternal grandfather, Ali Muhammad and Shaikh Muhammad his maternal grandfather went to study in Deoband.
Ali Muhammad along with Shaikh Muhammad went to Kuwait. They were imams there. The younger generation was all born in Kuwait.
All the Baloch who went there from Iran and Karachi used to be their guests. They looked after them really well.
The Baloch have always been very religious minded. They are steadfast in their prayers and they help people in need. This is how the Baloch are.
They are very good and religious people. They have done a lot to serve their religion.
Our religion is Islam. If you look at what we wear you will see that our clothes reflect this. What I am wearing is a Baloch hat. People think it is Sindhi but in fact it is Baloch. It is shaped to leave space for prostration during prayers.
The Baloch also keep a long shawl over their shoulders. When we sit then we join our feet together and tie the shawl over it. An elderly Baloch used to say this is our comfortable chair.
Our culture is so great that even though people were so poor in the olden days they were always very hospitable.
Ammar’s family has strong religious beliefs. They still do. Mashallah they are great, intelligent people.
Ammar has been a master at computers. He is highly educated. His brother was also a master at computers. Another brother is an engineer.
Many people have come to me since 9/11 when this case was new, including the media. I was in touch with ICRC.
The press knows that I have been working on behalf of missing persons in all of Pakistan – in Karachi, in Islamabad and in Lahore. I met the former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani in this regard as well.
Right now, we want Ammar al Baluchi, against whom there is no case, to be released. Even if there is a case against him, then it is very weak.
All the international organizations that are working should produce evidence for his release. I request them to take his case to the entire press.
My message is that his case should be reopened and whatever the decision is, it should be made quickly.
He’s been there for about 16 or 17 years. Why is he there and still imprisoned? What is the issue?
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)