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Baloch women not permitted to protest in Pakistan? Experts share insights

2023-12-21 19:53:33

Baloch women in Pakistan are leading an unprecedented protest in Pakistan against extra-judicial killings, and are reportedly being locked up and separated from their families in the country. Many Baloch women and children were arrested during the police crackdown against Baloch protestors in Islamabad.

Pakistani analyst Abdul Samad Yaqoob and Senior fellow at the Observer Research Foundation Sushant Sareen spoke to India Today on the subject.

“I firmly stand with the Baloch people. They are equal citizens of Pakistan and must be treated that way,” said Yaqoob, as he condemned the police crackdown by the caretaker government.

“Peaceful protestors came from Turbat to Islamabad in freezing temperatures and I cannot stand the way they were dealt with,” Yaqoob further said.

However, Sareen countered Yaqoob’s point that Baloch people are equal citizens of Pakistan, and said, “They’ve (Baloch population) never been treated as equal citizens in Pakistan. The puppet prime minister, this Kakar fellow (Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar), is not even a Baloch, he’s a Pashtun really.”

Taking a dig at the Pakistan army, Sareen said, “I think the Pakistan army is scared. They are terrified of peaceful protesters simply because they don’t know how to handle them. They have only one instrument of handling peaceful protesters, which is bludgeoning them into submission.”

He also said that people from both Pashtuns and Baloch communities, and even the Sindhis, have been bludgeoned in Pakistan over the last 75 years.

While Yaqoob did condemn extra-judicial killings, he also said that if people take up arms against the state, they should be dealt with the iron fist.

“Any extrajudicial killing must be investigated and it should not be repeated or happen at all. There are two types of Baloch people. There is a BLF terrorist organisation and the followers or active members of the BLA Baloch Liberation Army. If they the guns against the state, they must be dealt with an iron fist. This is clear,” Yaqoob said.

Notably, all Baloch women and children arrested during the crackdown in Islamabad were released, Pakistan’s ARY News reported.

“On directions of PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar, all the women and children protesters were released,” said privatisation minister Fawad Hasan Fawad at a press conference in Islamabad alongside Information Minister Murtaza Solangi and Culture Minister Syed Jamal Shah, news agency ANI reported.

Many Baloch protesters were detained by the Islamabad Police after using water cannons and baton charges to break the protest against enforced disappearances.

Published By:

Poorva Joshi

Published On:

Dec 22, 2023

baloch protest, baloch women arrested in pakistan, baloch community Pakistan, extra judicial killings in pakistan

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