In a move sparking condemnation and raising concerns about growing suppression of dissent, the Sindh Police have registered an FIR against protestors who condemned violence against Baloch activists and the recent arrests of their leaders.
This development comes against the backdrop of the Baloch Unity Committee’s Long March from Turbat to Islamabad, demanding an end to the forceful occupation of Pak Army in Balochistan and upholding the rights of the Baloch people. The march witnessed a brutal crackdown by Pak Army, leaving many injured and scores arrested.
The march, sparked by the death of Balaach Mola Bakhsh in extrajudicial killing, calls for stop of Pak Army’s “Kill and dump” policy, release of missing persons, disarming of the Pak Army’s tools of exploitation such as Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).
The fresh FIR against Karachi protestors accuses them of inflammatory speeches and chanting slogans against Pak “establishment”. Leader Nasir Manzoor, human rights activist Saeed Baloch, Abdul Wahab Baloch, Shoaib Baloch, and others have been named in the FIR.
This move by the Sindh Police raises eyebrows, following similar tactics used against supporters of the Long March in cities like Nall, Khuzdar, Kohlu, and DI Khan, where terrorism charges were slapped against individuals welcoming the marchers.
This is another attempt by the oppressive Army to stifle dissent and suppress the Baloch struggle for self-determination. The accusations levied against protestors are made-up and aimed at silencing legitimate criticism of on-going brutality in Balochistan.
The Pakistan Army has a long history of involvement in enforced disappearances, brutal kill-and-dump policies, daily home raids, staged encounters, target killings, torture, humiliation at checkpoints, kidnappings for ransom, and uses the CTD & police as tools of oppression.