December 22, 2023 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 559

Baloch Uprising Against Abductions And Extrajudicial Killings By Pakistani Security Forces

December 22, 2023 | By Rudam Azad*
MEMRI Daily Brief No. 559

"This House expresses its admiration for the courage displayed by the women leading the Long March to Islamabad from across Balochistan to raise awareness of the disappearances, abductions and killings associated with the operations of Pakistan's Counter Terrorism Department; notes that there have been violent attacks on the marching protesters by the Police; and calls upon the Government to raise its concerns about the violation of fundamental human rights against the people of Balochistan with the Pakistani government."

Motion text, UK Parliament[1]

The Baloch people have organized massive protests against extrajudicial killings by Pakistani security forces in most parts of Balochistan and are demanding an international intervention to stop Pakistan's policy of wiping out Baloch youth. The Pakistan Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) created another group called the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) to execute a genocide against the Baloch population in the style of what was carried out in 1971 to crush the liberation of Bangladesh.

On December 12, 2023, international media reported on the "Long March" for Baloch rights,[2] a major protest that started in Turbat and made its way through Quetta to Pakistan's capital Islamabad.[3]

(Source: Twitter)

The Growing Trend Of "Fake Encounters"

Hundreds of protesters set up a protest, demanding that authorities disarm the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) in Pakistan's occupied Balochistan province after an extrajudicial killing of a young man in Turbat. On November 20, the CTD arrested 24-year-old Balach Baloch, accusing him of possessing five kilograms of explosive material. On November 23, the CTD said Baloch had been killed in a raid. Baloch's killing led to massive protests all over Balochistan. The family of the victim stressed that Baloch was not involved in any unlawful activity.

The relatives of the Balach Baloch along with civil society and human rights groups protested the growing trend of "fake encounters" (i.e., extrajudicial killings, usually in police custody) by the CTD in Turbat. Baloch people say that the CTD are state-owned death squads primarily established to carry out  "kill and dump" activities in Balochistan.

During the protests in Turbat, Najma Baloch, the sister of Balach Baloch, was summoned by the ISI for negotiations. The Pakistani security forces tried to abduct her, but were unable to do so due to the number of people present. She was detained at a nearby checkpoint for eight hours. The people cordoned off the Turbat police station and eventually the police released her.

The protesters are demanding that a case for the murder of Balach Baloch and of many other Baloch victims should be opened against the CTD and that the fake encounters should be investigated by a judicial inquiry commission.

The demands of the protestors are:

1: The perpetrators of the heinous crimes against Baloch people should be punished.

2: The CTD should be disarmed across Balochistan.

3: Death squads should be disarmed across Balochistan.

4: All those responsible for the abduction of Baloch people should be brought to court immediately.

5: Forced disappearances should be stopped.

6: As many people have been killed in fake encounters, the state should take responsibility for the death of civilians.

(Source: @sadiabalochssb)

(Source: Twitter)

(Source: Twitter)

(Source: Twitter)

(Source: Twitter)

Pakistani Security Forces Try To Intimidate Civil Society

The Pakistani army attacked peaceful protesters during their long march toward Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. Many Baloch men, women, and children were injured by tear gas, beatings, and water cannons.

On November 27, Pakistan's ISI and Military Intelligence (MI) agencies raided the house of Baloch activist Hooran Baloch, a human rights defender and Research Coordinator of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) based in Quetta, with the goal of intimidating her.

The Pakistani authorities froze the bank account of the Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYK), a Baloch civil society organization working for the release of Baloch people abducted by Pakistani security forces.

When Manzoor Pashteen, prominent Pashtun human rights activist and chairman of the Pashtun Tahafauz Movement (PTM), announced that he would be traveling to Turbat to show his solidarity with the Baloch victims of the fake encounters, he was arrested at a checkpoint in Chaman. Pashteen's vehicle was shot at but he narrowly escaped, while four of his fellow members sustained minor injuries. Manzoor Pashteen was then arrested and taken to the district of Dera Ismail Khan, but he has yet to be presented before a district magistrate. Chaman Deputy Commissioner Raja Athar Abbas said of the arrest: "Police were fired at from Pashteen's car on Mall Road." He then added that Pashteen was arrested in connection with the incident and he violated a ban on his entry into Balochistan.[4]

The Baloch pro-independence civil society has strongly condemned the arbitrary arrest of PTM leader.


If these Baloch protests had been organized in the civilized world, they would have born fruit, but the undemocratic and militarized state of Pakistan does not value peaceful protest and its army and the ISI have always used force to suppress the peaceful voices of Baloch and Pashtuns. The inhabitants of occupied Balochistan are urging the global powers to recognize Balochistan as a war zone and intervene to save the population, which has been plundered of its natural resources by Pakistan and China.

*Rudam Azad is a Baloch writer, Baloch representative, and Human Rights activist. He can be reached on Twitter, @RudamAzad and email



[2] The march covered the regions of Turbat, Panjgur, Khuzdar, Surab, Kalat, Mastung, Quetta, Loralai, Kohlu, Barkhan, Duki, Dera Ghazi Khan, Tonsa Sharif, where it received overwhelming support from the local population.

[3] In Islamabad, the police deported participants of the protests to Balochistan via Quetta. They were loaded into the buses.

[4], December 4, 2023.

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