Pak Army refuses to give Baloch martyr bodies to family: Reasons & Repercussions

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Noor Khan Baloch (left) and Captain Irfan Baloch (right) of the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) were martyred in Mazanband, Pakistan-occupied Balochistan (POB) while fighting with the Pakistan Army.
Noor Khan Baloch (left) and Captain Irfan Baloch (right) of the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) were martyred in Mazanband, Pakistan-occupied Balochistan (POB) while fighting with the Pakistan Army.

According to reports, on September 6, in pursuance of a major military operation against the Baloch freedom fighters Pakistani Army, in the dark of night, entered the famous Makran mountain range Mazanband from different directions in large numbers. The army was joined by its local spies and death squads. Informants may have informed the army of the presence of a large guerrilla camp of Baloch freedom fighters there, so the army entered the Mazanband ranges with a huge preparation.

No training camp of the Baloch freedom fighters (Sarmachars) could be found in the area. However, unaware of the presence of the army, two Sarmachars came there in the afternoon and got trapped in the enemy’s encirclement. The exchange of fire between the two sides continued till the sunset and then silence prevailed. Both Sarmachars were martyred while fighting the enemy with bravery. In this clash, Sarmachars also inflicted heavy casualties on the occupying Pakistan Army but the army as usual concealed heavy casualties inflicted on it.

However the death of a Pakistan Army officer, who was killed by the Baloch freedom fighters in Mazanband was reported from another area while the body of an informant namely Munir Ahmed (son of Abdul Rashid), a resident of Tump, was brought by the army and handed over to his family members. Another injured informant was taken to Kech district for treatment. News of his hospitalization also began to circulate. Pakistan Army then released pictures of the bodies of the two martyred Sarmachars (freedom fighters) in the media. On the other hand, the spokesperson of Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), Major Gwahram Baloch, while confirming the martyrdom of two martyred Sarmachars (freedom fighters) in the clash with the Pakistan Army revealed the identity of martyred freedom fighters as Captain Irfan Baloch, alias Imdad (son of Shaheed Ghulam Mustafa) and Noor Khan Baloch alias Barmash (son of Noor Bakhsh).

Martyr Captain Irfan Khan Baloch with his mother.

The military personnel came to Tump with the bodies of both the martyrs and the informant. As the identities of the martyrs were revealed, so their family members went to the military camp in Tump to receive the bodies of the martyrs, but instead of handing over the bodies to them, army asked them to wait. The family members of the martyrs waited there for a long time, during which the military personnel mocked them in various ways to harass them so that they would return home without receiving the bodies of the martyrs in fear or despair. But the family members of the martyrs waited patiently. Between ten and eleven o’clock in the night, the family members were finally told to go home as the bodies of the martyrs would be handed over to them the next morning.

It is said that after the family members of the martyrs left, the army dug two pits with a tractor and buried the bodies of the martyrs in them. In the morning, when the family members of the martyrs came to collect the bodies, the army showed them two graves. The family members of the martyrs then demanded that they should be allowed to open the graves and establish the identity of the bodies of their martyrs. They not only wanted to reassure that the bodies buried were indeed of their martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the homeland but also to offer the funeral prayers of those brave sons of soil with respect and in accordance with Islamic beliefs.

Pakistan Army refused to allow the alleged graves of the martyrs to be opened or their identities to be established, or for the funeral prayers to be offered and their burial to be done with respect. This led to public outrage against the army and the protest spread from Tump to Makran. The family members of the martyrs held a press conference in Turbat, Kech and also staged a sit-in protest at Shaheed Fida Chowk. Human rights activists, political and social circles also joined the protest in support of the demand of the family members of the martyrs. Even though this demand and protest echoed in Karachi, but despite all this the Pakistan Army refused to hand over the bodies of the martyrs to their family, which not only outraged the public but also cast doubts about the nature of weapons used against the martyrs and the treatment of their bodies.

Doubts are being expressed and all sorts of rumors are circulating. The question is, what does the Pakistan Army want to hide or reprove by burying the bodies of Baloch martyrs in the dark of night? Although this is not the first time that the occupying Pakistani Army has refused to hand over the bodies of Baloch martyrs to their family members for cremation and burial, such incidents have taken place before. The bodies of martyr Akbar Khan Bugti and his comrades were similarly refused to be handed over to their family for cremation and burial.

I examine the reasons for this savage act of not giving the dead bodies of martyrs to their family for funeral and its repercussions on the Baloch society and freedom struggle.

1: Some quarters are expressing concern that the Pakistan Army may have used any prohibited weapons, gas or materials against Irfan Baloch and Noor Khan Baloch and to in order to hide their crime, they have denied handing over the bodies of the martyrs to their family, so that the family of the martyrs do not expose the war crimes of the Pakistan Army by conducting postmortem of the bodies.

2: Shaheed Irfan Baloch and Shaheed Noor Khan Baloch despite being only two men, not only fought bravely against the heavy contingent of the Pakistan Army for more than three hours, but also killed one of their officers and a key informant, including several army personnel. It is possible that the military personnel, outraged by their heavy casualties, desecrated the bodies of the martyrs as an expression of hatred and mutilated them. That’s why the army didn’t hand over the bodies of martyrs and buried them in the dark of night to cover up their crime. They buried them so that no one could see the evidence of army’s hatred and savagery on the corpses. They were Sarmachars (freedom fighters) who inflicted heavy blows on the Pakistan Army during the war. And, due to which the hatred of Pakistan military personnel towards the martyrs and the insult and desecration of corpses due to this hatred at the hands of an unprofessional and uncivilized enemy like the Pakistani Army is not merely a speculation. Instead such a barbaric and an uncivilized act is sure because in case of the assassination of Shaheed Hayat Baloch the whole world has witnessed a glimpse of the Pakistani Army’s barbarism, hatred and animosity towards the Baloch people and its unbridled atrocities in occupied Balochistan.

3: One of the reasons may be that the Pakistan Army wants to bury the Baloch martyrs like unowned people and make them an example so that they can spread fear and terror among the Baloch people and prevent them from conscious struggle and resistance for national liberation. If this is the motive behind this war crime and uncivilized act of the Pakistan Army, then it has failed miserably in achieving this objective because the family of the martyrs and the Baloch people, instead of getting terrorised and being fearful are overwhelmingly standing against such inhuman acts of enemy and they are raising their voice against the army and have chosen the path of protest and resistance. By watching the video message of Shaheed Irfan Baloch’s mother on social media, the army will surely be ashamed and upset over the failure of its brutal strategy.

4: Instead of handing over the bodies of Shaheed Irfan Jan and Shaheed Noor Khan Baloch to their family for funeral, the purpose of burying them secretly in the dark of the night is also to prevent public participation and public mobilization on the occasion of funeral prayers of martyrs. Probably because the occupying Pakistan is terrified of the political and national consciousness and mobilization of the Baloch people. If the purpose of not giving the bodies of the martyrs was to stop mass mobilization, then the army has failed miserably in this purpose as well. People will now pay homage to the martyrs by attending the funeral of the martyrs from Tump and its vicinity. However, due to not handing over the bodies of the martyrs, mass mobilization and protests have spread from Kech to Karachi and people from different areas have condemned the Pakistan Army in the media. The martyrs are being paid homage for their great and proud sacrifice.

Indeed, when there is a bad purpose and ill intention, the intellect stops working and the results of all the measures are inverse. The reaction of the family members of the martyrs and the Baloch people on the issue of uncivilized act of the Pakistani Army of not handing over the bodies of Shaheed Irfan Baloch and Shaheed Noor Khan to their family has put a positive impact on the Baloch society and Baloch independence movement. Such barbaric act and strategy of Pakistan Army further exposed Pakistan’s colonial occupation in Pakistan-occupied Balochistan and its hatred and enmity against the Baloch nation. Not only this, it has also magnified the need for national independence to the Baloch nation, which has led the family of the martyrs and the Baloch people to take the path of protest and resistance instead of being frightened and silent.

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