Panjgur & Nushki: How 16 Baloch fidayeens crushed the ‘mighty’ Pak Army

Three Days. Seventy Two Hours.
Yes that’s the time Pakistan Army took to wrest back its own military bases in Balochistan from sixteen Baloch revolutionaries. In their battle against Pakistani regime, these sixteen Baloch freedom fighters did not choose a soft target, rather they attacked military bases swarming with elite SSG Commandos and combatants with automatic weapons.

On paper the Baloch Liberation Army’s (BLA) plan to attack and then hold on to the Frontier Corps (FC) bases in Pakistan-occupied Balochistan (POB) would have appeared too ambitious. The odds were stacked heavily against BLA fidayeens. The perception, however, changed on February 2 when news came in that BLA had easily captured FC military bases in Panjgur and Nushki. What followed over the next three days was an unending saga of bravery and raw courage of theBaloch revolutionaries that relegated Pakistan Army as loud-mouthed paper tigers.

ISPR (Inter-Services Public Relations) with its theatrics and Pakistan Army with sophisticated weapons, gunship helicopters, combat drones, SSG Commandos, tanks and fighter jets appeared clueless against a handful highly motivated Baloch patriots.

How else can one describe and explain the incompetence of Pakistanis who were grappling in the dark for three days to wrest back their own military base. The famed Pakistani SSG Commandos were so naïve that oftentimes they were firing on Pakistani soldiers held hostage by BLA Majeed Brigade.

It ended on February 5 with the martyrdom of all sixteen Baloch revolutionaries and over 195 Pakistani soldiers killed. Of these, around 90 Pakistani soldiers that included 55 Frontier Corps personnel, 18 SSG Commandos and 7 Elite Commandos were killed in the Battle of Nushki. Around 105 Pakistani soldiers were neutralized in the Battle of Panjgur, which includes 85 Frontier Corps personnel and 20 SSG Commandos. During the battle, Pakistani military drones and combat helicopters were also shot down.

The sixteen Baloch bravehearts who captured Pakistan Army's military bases in Panjgur and Nushki on Feb 2, 2022. Pakistan Army's SSG Commandos, gunship helicopters and heavily armed combat units took 3 days to wrest back their military bases from these sixteen BLA Fidayeens. (Photo: BLA Media Cell)
The sixteen Baloch bravehearts who captured Pakistan Army’s military bases in Panjgur and Nushki on Feb 2, 2022. Pakistan Army’s SSG Commandos, gunship helicopters and heavily armed combat units took 3 days to wrest back their military bases from these sixteen BLA Fidayeens. (Photo: BLA Media Cell)

Statistics apart, it’s the psychological victory that has provided a fresh impetus to Balochistan’s freedom struggle. The much-hyped SSG Commandos, Elite Commandos and the Frontier Corps combatants of Pakistan Army were scurrying for cover when challenged by the BLA fidayeens.

BLA released audio clips of their fidayeens making fun of the cowardice of SSG Commandos who, despite being armed to the teeth, fled away from the battle scene leaving their injured buddies at the mercy of Baloch revolutionaries. On the other hand BLA fidayeens sounded relaxed and at ease fighting the entire battalion of Pakistan Army.

BLA Majeed Brigade commando briefing the ground situation from Panjgur military base camp. (Photo: BLA Media Cell)
BLA Majeed Brigade commando briefing the ground situation from Panjgur military base camp. (Photo: BLA Media Cell)

The frontline combatants of Pakistan Army understand that they are used only as cannon fodder and sent to die in ignominy by the Rawalpindi generals. On the contrary, those sixteen BLA fidayeens knew that their martyrdom will be celebrated by entire Baloch population and songs of their sacrifices will be sung by generations to come. It’s this high moral ground that transformed into raw courage and led those sixteen Baloch to successfully challenge the entire Pakistan Army for seventy two hours.

These self-sacrificing Baloch fidayeens were not some indoctrinated Islamist radicals who had been led into a suicidal attack with bogus promise of 72 virgins and never ending luxuries of after-life in paradise. The Majeed Brigade fidayeens of BLA were Baloch patriots who undertook a well calibrated mission to draw world’s attention about Balochistan’s ongoing freedom struggle and Pakistan’s barbarism on unarmed hapless Baloch civilians.

Jeeyand Baloch, spokesperson of BLA explained that the main objective of this high-intensity operation was to show the military capabilities of Baloch resistance movement to Pakistan and to the entire world.

“Baloch Liberation Army values human lives and we do not find happiness in ending any life. If Pakistan, instead of bloodshed and carnage, opts for peace then we in the presence of an international guarantor invite Pakistan to the negotiation table. We are ready for negotiations on agendas of secure withdrawal of Pakistani forces from Balochistan and complete independence of our motherland. However, If Pakistani military is hell-bent on violence then we warn it with clear words that our next attacks will be much harsher and we will go to any extent for defending our homeland. We have the full capability of taking this war to any part of Pakistan,” explained Jeeyand Baloch in clear terms.

The moot question is does the world know about genocide, cold blooded murders and rapes across Balochistan? Does the haloed United Nations even bother to pull up the Pakistani regime about its war crimes in occupied Balochistan? Have we heard any of the 5-star human rights organizations/activists make any effort to travel to Balochistan and report about Pakistani regime’s war crimes? The answer is a big NO.

In 2021, Pakistan Army launched 600 military operations against unarmed Baloch civilians and abducted over 650. More than 300 dead bodies of Baloch, killed in cold blood, were recovered from various parts of Balochistan. Over one thousand Baloch homes were set ablaze while another 1900 Baloch homes were looted by this “brave” Pakistan Army. And these figures are merely for the last year.

Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) has data of around 72,000 Baloch, who were abducted and ‘enforced disappeared’ during the last two decades. Thousands of Baloch continue to be ‘killed and dumped’ by the Pakistani forces. Yet the civilized world continues to sleep. The information about Balochistan has been relegated to ISI/ ISPR handouts, which effectively means deliberate spread of misinformation and disinformation.

A civilization, howsoever peace loving it may be, is forced to rebel and pick up arms when all it sees is naked violence with no one caring for its wails and travails. BLA’s February 2 attacks on Pakistan Army’s military camps at Panjgur and Nushki must be read in this backdrop.

Pent-up anger against ongoing Pakistani atrocities on Baloch people was the most lethal weapon present in the arsenal of each of these sixteen BLA fidayeens. It was this fury that led BLA to carry out the biggest attack against Pakistani regime in Balochistan’s seven decades of freedom struggle.

In response, Pakistan Army launched, yet again, an information blackout across occupied Balochistan issuing strict diktats to local media against reporting on Panjgur and Nushki attacks. A pliant Pakistani media relayed only the ISPR’s version of BLA attack.

Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa should know. Mainstream media organisations are no longer the sole source of information. Narrative is set by new age mediums, which includes social media and digital media platforms. And so the truth about Battle of Panjgur and Battle of Nushki slowly trickled down.

Paeans will be sung in honour of the gallant sixteen Baloch revolutionaries. History will remember Pakistan Army for their barbarism on unarmed civilians and their cowardice when faced with a handful of well-armed Baloch revolutionaries in the Battle of Panjgur & Nushki.

Vivek Sinha
Vivek Sinha
Founder & Editor-in-Chief, News Intervention. He has been in various editorial roles at The Times of India, Deccan Chronicle, The Asian Age and Hindustan Times. Vivek is also a Filmmaker and has made several short films and documentaries. His documentary "Muzaffarnagar--aakhir kyon?" that has a detailed account of 2013 communal riots at Muzaffarnagar has been highly appreciated and is extremely popular. Vivek is also the Author of novel "Chip in the Madrasa" which is an insightful tale that unravels the vicious game of Wahhabis and their vice-like grip on Muslim minds across the globe. His Twitter handle is @viveksinha28

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