Entering its 25th day, the Baloch Long March from Turbat has encountered roadblocks and arrests in Dera Ghazi Khan, but activists remain defiant in their fight against Baloch genocide by the Pakistan Army. The Baloch Long March, organized by the Baloch Yakjehti Council (BYC), faced resistance in Dera Ghazi Khan on Monday (19 Dec). Despite the Army’s attempts to stop the march, activists and protestors continued their journey towards Taunsa Sharif and DI Khan.
The march faced a heavy police presence in Dera Ghazi Khan and attempts to stop them from proceeding further. Authorities cited Section 144, prohibiting public gatherings, but protesters refused to comply.
The determined marchers, led by Mahrang Baloch, encountered resistance from the Pakistan Army in Dera Ghazi Khan, which attempted to halt the long march against the Baloch Genocide. The authorities warned of a ban on transporters unless they lifted their ban, prompting the activists to threaten a dharna (sit-in) in Dera Ghazi Khan.
On 19 Dec, at 11 a.m., the long march is set to continue on foot towards Islamabad from the Gadai Chowk picketing site. Ghayur Baloch, a prominent figure from Dera Ghazi Khan, is expected to ensure his active participation in the ongoing protest.
Clashes at Dera Ghazi Khan
Clashes erupted when marchers insisted on entering the city, where a partial strike had been observed. Police reportedly resorted to baton charges, detaining at least 20 individuals, including two women. Among those detained were prominent activists like Shaukat Ali, Asif Leghari, Miraj Leghari, and Abdullah Saleh. Legal proceedings have been initiated against them under Section 144.
Despite the obstacles, the long march, led by Mohammad Asif Laghari, continued onwards towards Taunsa Sharif and DI Khan. The BYC spokesman urged the Baloch community to join the protest in solidarity. The march began in response to the extrajudicial killing of Balach Mola Bakhsh by the Pak Army, sparking concerns about enforced disappearances and human rights abuses in Pak-occupied-Balochistan.
Despite this obstacle, the marchers, led by Mahrang Baloch, maintain their unwavering commitment to reaching the capital and voicing their protest. The situation is evolving, and it’s yet to be seen what will unfold when the march reaches to the capital.