Prisoner 650- Grey Ghost of Bagram

My name is Prisoner 650,
Known I am as the “Grey Ghost”
Of Bagram, my home, remember me
In years of silence, in moments
Of indifference, created by you
Familiar are those walls and rooms
Of torture, of questions and of abuse
Familiar are those old echoes,
As all ideologies fall away in shame
Of protection of rights and freedom
Familiar I am to these accusations
As I am dragged, naked and blue
As I carry your foul breath, in eternity
Familiar I am to you and your ways
In labyrinth of twisted torture and routines
As my face begins to fade, in its forms
As this life becomes the burden in its disguise

My name is Prisoner 650,
Known I am not to the land of my birth
Forgotten they have all but few of my own
As I sit here through intervals,
When sanity returns, as this mind play games
Harder to distinguish what is worse
The torture and abuse or being forgotten
By my very own country, of my very own
Through subjugation of humanity
Familiar I am now, to these routines
As I see myself break in pieces,
As I see you, break in your emptiness
Remember me, as I walked with you
Tied down to my knees, in chains
To these graves, in your quest for gold

My name is prisoner 650
Known I am to them as Grey Ghost
Inside me the Bagram and its crimes
Outside this world, you and absent me
All available to you, all known to you
The ambiguity you created, in those cells
As I bath in that abuse in my dreams
The voices, eyes, and rotten crimes
As this civilization eats me slowly
Through hands foreign, through hands
Of my own, my own, my own
Know I of my worth, know I of my place
In these pedestals of humanity,
All gone, inside me, the absent light
As I search for the light, and cold showers
In the old walls of Bagram, familiar I am
To these mountains, my witnesses
Heard me, they have, like those graves
Unmarked, walk with me, sometimes
Feel you will all, what was it like?
Betrayal of my own, betrayal of my own

I am the prisoner 650, cold and silent
Charge me, it cannot be worse,
I have seen it all, I have lived it away
In your presence, the grey ghost
In there, lies me, the old self,
In unmarked graves, finally the freedom
My name is Prisoner 650
Stands here, in front of you
In its demise, in what you created
Against accusation, hollow and false
Pay you will, in this life or next
Familiar not to you, the old justice

My name is Prisoner 650
The grey ghost of Bagram
In my weakened body and soul,
As I carry these imprints
Of your investigations and abuse
Familiar I am to your ways and techniques
As you pronounce in comfort, the justice
Not much left in me, not much to say
Remember the first sentence,
The first utterance, long time ago
Of my innocence, as I screamed
As my skin pierced, as my soul raped
Now what justice will you serve me?
Not there may be, but still inside me
Bagram, and its grey ghost, and you.

I am the prisoner 650
Remember me, unfamiliar I am to you
To my own, in betrayal of my very own
I have no more questions, to ask
I am the Prisoner 650
Never will I be freed, inside me remains
The old landmarks of what I was once,
You have done your work well,
Declare me insane, as insane I am now
They call me the prisoner 650,
The Grey Ghost of Bagram, in your presence
My beauty carved out of torture and betrayal
These beautiful principles of protection
Remember me, how can you forget
In an unmarked grave, finally the freedom
I am the Prisoner 650, Grey Ghost of Bagram!


This poem is dedicated to Dr Aafia Siddiqi and all those innocent people product of betrayal by our own country.


6 thoughts on “Prisoner 650- Grey Ghost of Bagram

  1. What should I say! Its really unfortunate for us to have been ruled by people with vice characters and wickeds of the worst type. Unless we get rid of the characters who’d sell their sisters and mothers for the sake money, we can’t think of a just system to prevail. We all must stand up against the perpetrators in Dr. Afia’s case.
    A commendable effort on your part to raise your concern in such a lovely poem!

    Allah karay zor-e-qalam aur ziada!

  2. I have some questions.

    In the reports they say she was arrested because she was caught with some materials in her possessions – My point is this – why was she not put on trial at once – and if she was to be arrested – why was she physicaly assaulted in jail as they say in the reports.


    If women prisoners are indeed proven guilty – they should be punished like male prisoners – by law – only after proven guilty –

    Which law allows abuse of this kind in jails – and why?

  3. Very well written poem K!
    It’s a tragedy… very unfortunate incident.
    Well Nadeen it is not about male and female. It’s a war on terror where suspects are rounded up and apprehended without any solid charges with no access to lawyers etc.(Patriot Act) When the authorities have that much freedom you can imagine the brutality they unleash since they aren’t answerable to anyone.

  4. Thanks Ayesha, Nadeen, Aadil on your comments and sentiments. Whatever we can do to raise the voices of protest and all the rest, we must do. It is with this intention I wrote this and I have seen Ayesha has written two articles on Dr Aafia as well to further elucidate on what needs to be done and how we as individuals, and as a nation feel. Imagine the element of sorrow and pain in Dr Aafia’s heart and soul and us upon this betrayal by the state and its machinery in the name and pursual of an idealogy which is meaningless and empty and we all know and witnessed its horrors…

    But thanks again for your beautiful comments..

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