Pak Forces Abandon Border Posts as Violent Protest Erupts in Balochistan

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: Pakistani border forces were forced to retreat and abandon their border outposts in Balochistan after people pelted stones and torched military buildings.

The protests erupted in the border town of Brabchah on June 10 with thousands of protestors attacking the security forces amid slogans against the military establishment and the Pakistani government, according to reports.

Majority of Baloch civilians living at both sides do not recognise the border and call it arbitrary line.

Last week, the killing of a young woman by the ruling party in Balochistan triggered widespread anger among the Baloch people with the president of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) and former CM Akhtar Mengal attacking Pakistan’s judiciary saying it has abdicated its responsibility to hold the provincial government accountable for its crimes against the Baloch people.

The Baloch people have been demanding independence from Pakistan due to atrocities committed by the security forces and lack of development in the region.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in its report had said that enforced disappearances of Pakistanis were “either for their political or religious affiliations or for their defence of human rights”.

Sajid Hussain, a Baloch and editor of the online magazine Balochistan Times in Sweden, disappeared on March 2 and his body was found in a river outside the Swedish city of Uppsala on May 1.

Thousands of Baloch people and activists have disappeared over the last decade after allegedly being abducted by state security forces with their bodies found later carrying signs of mutilation and torture.

According to Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), the Baloch population “endures difficulties in raising international awareness of their situation of poverty, violence and discrimination.”

Hyrbyair Marri, founder of the Free Balochistan Movement, in his recent tweet, said, “#Pakistani Muslim bigot Punjabis are already geographically sandwiched between Afghanistan, #Balochistan, #Sindh and #India, we just need to unite our forces and give it a good push from all directions, only then we can get rid of this megalomaniac Pakistani #Punjabi Army.”

Marri believes that the day is not far when the West will address the Baloch issue because of the region’s strategic geopolitical location, Chinese interest through CPEC (China–Pakistan Economic Corridor) along with Pakistan being a “nuisance” in the area.

Despite its vast mineral wealth, Balochistan remains the poorest and the most underdeveloped region in Pakistan.

Balochistan nationalists call Pakistan an occupier of their territory and resources and have been opposing the CPEC demanding its exit.