The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistan has lodged an FIR against several attendees at the funeral of Sumaiya Qalandarani, who carried out a suicide attack on a Pakistan Army convoy in June.
On the behest of the Paki ‘establishment’, the FIR accuses the attendees of promoting separatist ideologies and encouraging the younger generation of Balochistan to adopt these viewpoints. It specifically refers to a widely circulated photograph from the funeral that includes thirteen notable political and social figures from Turbat in attendance, such as Gulzar Dost and Maulana Khalid Waleed Saifi.
The CTD contends that an unidentified individual displayed a victory sign during the funeral, which they interpreted as violation under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA)’s Sections 11-F and 11-W. However, this interpretation has not yet been verified through any means or form of legal channels.
Not only the interpretation but also the accusations levelled in the FIR have not been legally assessed. The implications for those named have remained uncertain as well. This incident brings to light the intricate situation in Pakistan-occupied-Balochistan. Instances such as this, where individuals attending a funeral might face legal repercussions, shows how the local Baloch population is being treated by the brutal Pakistan Army.
Sumaiya Qalandarani was a member Majeed brigade, a suicide squad of the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a group that seeks Balochistan’s independence from brutal oppression under the Pakistan Army. Last June, she executed an attack on a convoy of Pak Army at Chakar-e-Azum Chowk in Turbat. The targeted attack killed four Pakistan Army personnel. The BLA claimed responsibility, calling Qalandarani a “female fidayee” (self-sacrificer).
Jeeyand Baloch, the group’s spokesperson, stated that “BLA’s female fidayee (self-sacrificer) Sumaiya Qalandarani Baloch was behind the attack on Pak Army personnel.”
The funeral for Qalandarani was attended by a large number of people, including many political and social figures from Turbat. Notable figures such as Khalid Waleed Saifi, the vice president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Balochistan; Ghulam Yasin Baloch, the convener of All Parties Kech; Haji Qadir Ahmad of the People’s Party; and Gulzar Dost, the convener of the Turbat Civil Society, among others were also present.
Therefore, the CTD’s FIR against the attendees is a desperate attempt to silence dissent voices by the Pakistan Army.
Balochistan under Pakistan Army has faced numerous atrocities, including daily home raids, disappearances, staged encounters, target killings, torture, humiliation at checkpoints, and kidnappings for ransom. Following the illegal occupation of Balochistan in March 1948, Balochistan has been fighting the war of its existence.