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Who is Shari Baloch, the first female Baloch suicide bomber who killed three Chinese?

Shari Baloch, the Baloch female suicide bomber, with her children (Photo: BLA/Twitter)

Shari Baloch, the first female Baloch suicide bomber, who killed four people including three Chinese teachers at the Confucius Institute, Karachi University, on Tuesday has etched her name in posterity. Whether it's been written by the devil or in golden words will be decided by who reads her name.

A few hours after the afternoon bombing, her Twitter profile had 538 followers. Once her identity was revealed by Tuesday evening, the numbers of followers began to climb up rapidly. By night time it had touched 1,033 and at the time of writing this story on Wednesday afternoon, it had crossed 4,000 and going up by the minute.

A few hours before her deadly suicide mission she seems to have ominously indicated what was about to come. In Urdu she wrote: "Farewell and companionship".

Shari Baloch, also known as Bramsh, joined Twitter on November 25, 2021 and posted just 84 tweets till she blew herself up on April 26.

Her Twitter timeline is about love, longing and life. It is also about death.

Shari talks about the conditions in Balochistan—of the disappeared, the resistance, the fighters, the loss of Baloch identity, the exploitation of resources and the danger to the Baloch people and to Balochistan itself.

Her tweets on Balochistan are passionate and poetic. Just sample this one which says: "My land has taught me love and resistance".

Shari posted videos showing the raw and natural beauty of Balochistan. The videos have soothing commentaries, songs and lyrics from Baloch artists. Then there is a video of a local artist with background music from Shahrukh Khan's lilting tune from the movie 'Kal Ho Na Ho'.

She often mentions Brazilian novelist and songwriter Paulo Coelho—who has over two dozen novels to his name. Many of Coelho's novels are about women in search of love, spiritual travel and Mother Mary. She retweets Coelho: “One day you'll wake up and there won't be any more time to do the things you've always wanted. Do it now”.

It is difficult to interpret what was going on in Shari’s mind when she wrote these tweets, or simply retweeted them. Another one from Coelho: "Love is an incomprehensible and dangerous thing that takes everything away from you and leaves you with only what your beloved likes".

A December 2021 tweet says: "Love is the basic need of human nature".

She tweets or retweets about Karl Marx and Che Guevara. On the opposite side of ideology, she also mentions Mahatma Gandhi's inspirational quote—"be the change you want to see in the world".

Her timeline has a constant refrain of yearning—of doing something, and also of not being able to do. Many of her posts are about the urge to achieve something big in life.

One of her tweets has a photograph of the recurring victory sign. This says: "I am not a story to be silenced. I have to play a role and leave". Maybe, it is posts like these that portend something—something like suicide, like running away in love, like a suicide bombing.

In another photograph of her fingers—once again in the victory sign, she writes: "Sacrifices for a better tomorrow…..!" Amongst the photographs that she has uploaded on Twitter, the victory sign photographs keep popping up. Her hands in the victory symbol against the setting sun, against the windows of the car, against a sky.

Shari seems to be constantly thinking of achieving a victory, some kind of a victory. It could be victory in love, or in being a successful suicide bomber.

In a couple of posts, she also quotes Persian poet Rumi and American writer Mark Twain. In another one, she quotes Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai over the power and role of women.

Shari's Twitter posts only give a partial insight into her personality. Posts that indicate aspiration, a desire for self-improvement, nostalgia and a sense of longing. These are Twitter posts that a love-sick teenager would post, an aspiring student would post, a person yearing to run away from home would post.

What her posts certainly do not reveal is that one day she would turn into a suicide bomber who would kill five people including herself. 

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