Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan clearfield Balochistan’s colonial status after baton-charging on the peaceful Baloch protestors. It materialized when four young Baloch were killed illegally by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) in Turbat on November 23, 2023. The aftermath of the extrajudicial killings and the controversial death of Balach Mola Bakhsh raised a crowd to raise their voices against enforced disappearances in Balochistan.
Observing a protesting sit-in in Turbat, their demands were not met. For the very purpose, they initiated a long march going through multifarious and vast expenses of Balochistan. It conducted diversified camps in various remote areas of Balochistan for the registration of Baloch missing persons – or those disappeared through force – too.
However, during the long march, demonstrators faced various challenges but still were steadfast to approach Quetta, to reveal the problems of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance in Sariyab road. But unfortunately, after unsatisfactory response, they decided to persist their long march, and moved towards the capital, Islamabad.
Certainly, the demonstrators were enthusiastic to solve their issues in the capital city, Islamabad, and would explain the trauma of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of the Baloch. But depressingly, before approaching the National Press Club Islamabad, the police prevented the peaceful protesters and did not let them going in NPC.
Afterwards, the protesters declared to persist their sit-in at the place where they were prevented by police. Subsequently, late at night, when they were setting up and managing their camp, suddenly, the Islamabad Police started baton-charging, shelling tear gas and shattering cool water on protesters and arrested around 300 protesters, including the long-march leader Dr Mahrang Baloch, women, children, students and the elderly persons.
It ultimately resulted in the emergence of the historical conflict between the two. It seemed very heart-wrenching to inspect Baloch women being physically and mentally tortured in custody by Islamabad police. Their silent screams resonate Balochistan’s worst story. Each deteriorating view elaborates the silent incantation of Baloch, the miserable fragrance of Baloch’s land and atrophied Baloch people.
A mother in Balochistan vociferates every day for the presence of her abducted sons, and a father always holds an image of his loved ones in trembling hands. Where a son is unable to cuddle his mother and elaborate his feeling of being alright around these cruel people or where a brother unwillingly sees his whole family getting martyred. This is Balochistan, in short.
Similarly, the peaceful protesters had great hopes and expectations to solve their problems in Islamabad, but the Islamabad Police inflicted deplorable brutalities on innocent and old women and men. This is precisely why the young women and mothers, who came on foot to what is supposed to be the symbol of the federation, simply asking to be allowed to make their way to a peaceful protest camp, should have not been baton-charged, hosed with water cannons and bundled into police vans.
In the same way, it was puzzling that why their clothes were torn apparently by Islamabad Police. What else remains for a woman if you tear her clothes and misbehave with her? A question to Islamabad Police.
It is very bad to say that Balochistan, being the richest province in Pakistan, has no significance and place for its Baloch in Islamabad to express their anguish and pain of their loved ones.
Lamentably, manifold leaders conduct various sessions and gatherings in Islamabad, and no one asks them, but for people who come to demand their fundamental rights and cry for justice for their abducted sons. Islamabad is ready to baton-charge and vanish them, but will never listen to the stories these Baloch have.
This recent and worse incident done by Islamabad Police is an overview of the desperate people who are being ill-treated by their capital. Although, Islamabad police tried a lot to deport the peaceful protesters to Quetta, but they could not owing to the extreme shout in the social media – as national media was asleep on the Baloch issue.
Sammi Deen, a Baloch activist and daughter of Dr. Deen Mohammad who was disappeared in 2009, tweeted, “This adversity will not deter us. Our struggle has evolved into a resolute moment that will persist until our objectives are achieved.”
The writer is a freelance columnist.