2014-03-30 23:09:22 UTC
I took Family Tree DNA Cheek swabs from presumed relatives of my Pakistani daughter Shamema, whose mother is from a remote village high in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Chitral, Pakistan.
I collected 11 cheek swabs from presumed relatives of my daughter for the purpose of submitting them to the Family Finder Program of Family Tree DNA. ftdna.com
Just as I was about to board a flight to leave Chitral, the ISI secret police came and demanded I hand over the 11 cheek swabs.
They promised to return them in an hour but that was five days ago and they have not returned them yet,
As there has never been a genetic study of this remote region it will be a great loss to genetic science if my cheek swabs are not returned.
These people from the different tribes have been intermarrying each other for a thousand years and this Family Finder program would help establish their relationship with each other.
The mother of my Chitrali daughter is from Jinjoret, a former Kalash Valley. Thus, the Kalash and the Nuristanis are probable relatives of my daughter. These cheek swabs would have helped the National Geographic Genographic establish the truth or non-truth of this presumed relationship See ftdna.com
We are wondering how the Pakistan Police knew I had taken the DNA samples. Who ratted on us?
Our best idea is that the previous day I had gone to the Kalash Valley of Bumboret where I took a DNA cheek swab from one Nuristani boy and one Nuristani Girl (aged 8). The Pakistan Army came and asked us what we were doing and we told them. It never occurred to me that anybody would question this.
We left Bumboret but the next day four Pakistan policemen came to the house I was staying as a guest. Included in their group was a representative of each of the three Pakistan Security Forces, the ISI, the CID and I do not know the other one and they made me hand over my 11 cheek stabs.
Now they say that the Pakistan Police have taken my cheek swabs to a DNA Testing Lab in Islamabad. I am wondering if a Pakistan DNA lab has the technology to do what Family Tree DNA does.
I need to explain that I was in the exact place where a few weeks ago the Taliban had threatened to attack and force the Kalash people to convert to Islam. See http://www.dawn.com/news/1086564/pakistani-taliban-threaten-kalash-tribe-ismailis-in-chitral
Thus, it was not a surprise that the Pakistan Army was there in force and stopped to question who I was. As I was escorted by two Chitral police officers for my own security, they left after asking a few questions. We are suspecting that the Pakistan Army notified the ISI or the CID of my presence in Bumboret and for that reason the security officers came to question me the following day. Nevertheless we were all shocked when they forced me to hand over my 11 cheek swabs.