I was 10 years old when he disappeared. He was a good and ordinary man and a wonderful father to me and my three younger sisters. We were living then in a camp in Pakistan for Afghan refugees fleeing the war in our country. We had little, but we were eating and surviving, and my father always had a positive outlook. He was always working to solve not only my family’s problems but also the problems of others around us who had even less than we did.
We were poor, but he had a way of making us feel as though we owned a mountain. Even today, I can picture how he looked when he laughed and get back a little bit of that feeling.
But for the past year, the picture of my father in my mind has been crowded out by another image. It is from an article in the Guardian describing a report from a CIA investigation into my father’s death. The report detailed his last hours, as he was freezing to death because he was “shackled . . . on bare concrete while nude from the waist down.” It said at 8 a.m. on Nov. 20, 2002, two hours before he was found dead, a guard saw my father was alive and shivering and that his eyes were “open and blinking.”