The long march against Baloch genocide has shaken the Pakistan Army to its core. The protest that started from Turbat after the extra-judicial killings of four innocent Baloch youth soon culminated into a mass movement which attracted the participants from across the communities. Be it Sindhis or the Pashtuns, every community extended unconditional support to the movement and long march organized at the behest of Baloch Yakjehti (Solidarity) Committee (BYC). After brutal torture of marchers in Islamabad, Baloch have organised a Quetta protest that got support from PTM.
This utmost solidarity and the acceptance that the long march received at every step was not only a testament of the allegiance of the people but also of fearlessness that the Baloch have conquered after decades of persecution. This has created uneasiness in the Pakistan Army as evident by their naïve actions in Islamabad. Actually, as soon as long march reached Islamabad, the police took violent measures to curb the peaceful and righteous long march. Even women and children were not spared. Such inhumane and lawless action by the institution which calls itself a part of ‘state’ is sufficient to prove that the Pakistani establishment with Punjabi Army at the helm does not consider Baloch and other communities as part of Pakistan.
Quetta protest and PTM support
However, the enthusiasm of the Baloch people remains commendable as they not only continued their efforts but also carried out a protest rally and sit-in demonstration in Quetta. In one such protest rally, hundreds of Baloch, including women, elderly and specially abled voiced their support for the long march and condemned the Pakistani atrocities and violence over marchers. They accused Pakistan Army of being the cause of violence. The protestors hurled slogans “Ye jo dehshatgardi hai, iske peeche wardi hai.” [This uniform (Pakistan Army) is behind the terrorism].
Furthermore, Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) again participated in the Quetta sit-in protest outside the High court and expressed unconditional support to the cause of BYC. The Provincial President of PTM, Noor Bacha in his address to the sit-in, warned Pakistan against continuing the oppression of Baloch and Pashtuns. He asked the establishment to consider their decisions and apologise from the Baloch and Pashtuns for the persecution. Noor Bacha reiterated that against the Punjabi Army’s oppression, PTM will always stand by the side of its Baloch brothers and sisters.
He invited all the oppressed communities, viz., Sindhis, Baloch, Pashtuns among others to be at a single platform and pose a unified resistance to the corrupt generals to snatch their rights. He stated that the idea of Manzoor Pashteen is not limited to Pashtuns only but has now transcended to the minds of Baloch and Sindhis.