In a major operation entering its second day, the Pakistan Army is engaged in an encounter with armed individuals in the mountainous town of Mashkay tehsil in the Awaran district, Pak-occupied-Balochistan. The operation, triggered by a drone strike in the area on Sunday, has seen the deployment of highly-trained commandos and military gunship helicopters.
Reportedly, several areas have been cordoned off, and makeshift security checkpoints have been established. The public reported hearing the sounds of intense gunfire and explosions, particularly from the Gurandi area within Mashkay.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistan Army, confirmed the ongoing operation. They used their propaganda machine to label the freedom fighters and cited them as the “presence of terrorists” in the area. In a statement, the ISPR claimed that five armed individuals were killed in a targeted, intelligence-based operation. Additionally, they reported the destruction of a “hideout” and the recovery of a cache of arms, ammunition, and explosives.
While the ISPR did not specify the nature of the targeted individuals or group, the Mashkay area is known to be a stronghold of the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF), freedom fighters fighting for an independent Balochistan.
Military Operation Underway
The ISPR statement indicated that the operation is still ongoing and aims to eliminate the freedom fighters present in the area. The Army’s illegal occupation has often been challenged by the freedom fighter’s group, and therefore, the Pak Army wants to eliminate them. However, independent verification of the number of casualties and claims of the operation’s progress remains difficult due to restricted access and limited information from official sources.
The province, rich in minerals and serving as a key route for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, has witnessed sporadic attacks on the Army and Chinese personnel in recent years. This is due to the exploitation of the resources by the hands of the occupiers – the Pak “establishment.” The operation has raised concerns about potential civilian casualties and collateral damage. Reports of cordoned-off areas and security checkpoints have also fuelled anxieties about restricted movement and communication.
The Baloch Long March that started from Turbat and is now in Islamabad has caused inconvenience and pushed the Army to act out. They are failing to control the growing momentum of the protest, and therefore, the Army is using an offensive to curb the growing movement to counter the brutality of the Pak Army in Balochistan.
The provinces of Pak-occupied-Balochistan have become a focal point of exploitation, with the Pak Army orchestrating a sinister plan to plunder the region’s wealth. Since March 27, 1948, the Baloch people have faced relentless oppression through daily home raids, disappearances, staged encounters, target killings, torture, and kidnappings for ransom.
The situation in Mashkay remains tense and fluid, with the outcome of the military operation and its impact on the local community still uncertain. This developing story will be updated as further information becomes available.