The decision to shift the two-week protest from Turbat to Quetta following the alleged extrajudicial killing of Balaach Mola Bakhsh has intensified concerns over the unresolved issue in Balochistan. This tragic incident has sparked outrage and mobilised various stakeholders, underscoring the need for swift resolution and accountability.
The sequence of events leading to the relocation of the protest signifies the gravity of the situation. Balaach Mola Bakhsh’s reported extrajudicial killing by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) has triggered widespread discontent. The CTD’s claim of an armed clash resulting in Bakhsh’s death, along with three other suspects, has been met with scepticism.
His sudden appearance at Turbat Teaching Hospital after being arrested and presented before the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) has raised serious questions about the circumstances of his demise. Such instances exacerbate the existing mistrust between the Baloch people and law enforcement agencies.
Disrupting traffic on the D-Baloch CPEC road reflects the urgency of addressing this issue promptly. The relocation of the protest to Quetta, the provincial capital, demonstrates the determination of the affected parties to seek justice. It should serve as a clarion call for the government to take immediate notice, conduct a fair and impartial investigation, and address the underlying concerns.
The demand for a judicial commission underscores the necessity for transparency and accountability to rebuild trust between the people of Balochistan and the state. Such a commission, comprising credible individuals and representatives from civil society, could facilitate an impartial investigation, offering transparency and justice for Bakhsh’s alleged extrajudicial killing. Such a transparent inquiry can help restore faith in the justice system and potentially prevent future escalations of similar grievances.
The government must heed the calls for justice and accountability raised by the protesters, political parties, and civil society. Swift action in the form of a fair investigation, acknowledgment of the protesters’ demands, and a commitment to address underlying grievances is imperative. The government’s responsiveness and commitment to justice and accountability will play a pivotal role in preventing further escalation and fostering a renewed sense of trust and harmony within Balochistan.