Pakistan: Complete shutter-down strike observed in support of Baloch protest

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Balochistan [Pakistan], January 3: In the wake of ongoing protests in Balochistan, a complete shutter down strike was observed in multiple areas of Pakistan against the extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances of Baloch people, the Yakjethti Committee said on Wednesday.
In a social media post on X, the committee said, “Complete Shutter Down is being observed in Turbat on the call of Baloch Yakjehti Committee on the 41st of the movement against Baloch Genocide. State has tried it’s best to sabotage this movement through threats, profiling, harassment and violence. But, we as a nation are committed to END BALOCH GENOCIDE.”
It added, “Today, entire Balochistan is testifying that this genocide and repression is no more. The ongoing shutter down strike across Pakistan and especially in Balochistan is a message to the state to stop its tricks and join the ongoing movement against Baloch genocide. Take the demands seriously. Shutter-down strike scenes from Khuzdar.”
The shutterdown was also observed in Islamabad, where people showed their support by voluntarily closing their shopping centres in support of the ongoing protest in Islamabad.
Glimpses of Shutter-Down protest on the call of Baloch Yakjehti Committee were also seen in Noshki. People came out voluntarily to close their shopping centres in support of the Sit-In at NPC, Islamabad.
Earlier on Tuesday, Baloch protestors called for a shutterdown strike across Pakistan on January 3, The Balochistan Post reported. The announcement about the shutterdown strike comes at a time when protestors have been voicing their discontent over what they consider a dismissive attitude from state officials.
The Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC), which has been organising these protests, voiced its dissatisfaction over the government’s response in a statement shared on social media. The BYC stated, “The state has consistently shown a half-hearted and uncommitted concern regarding our demands from the beginning,” accusing state authorities of calling their movement mere “propaganda.” In response to the government’s action, the BYC announced the strike and urged people to support the strike.
In a statement, the BYC said, “On January 3, we are calling for a shutterdown demonstration across Pakistan. We urge people from all walks of life to support and respect our call for the strike in the name of humanity and the Baloch nation, aiming to preserve our identity,” The Balochistan Post reported.
On January 2, Pakistan caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul-haq-Kakar termed the ongoing Baloch protest against alleged extrajudicial killings in the province as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘provocative’.
While addressing a press conference on the issues of Balochistan at Lahore’s central business district, Kakar said, “Advocates of terrorists in Balochistan should go and join them if they are convinced on the veracity of their issue and fight the state along with them, so that we know where they stand and how to deal with them,” referring to rights activists and journalists standing with the Baloch marchers.
Responding to the media on the issue of police violence against Baloch protesters in Islamabad, Pakistan caretaker PM said that some of the people, media persons included, were trying to “mislead everyone, turning themselves into fake heroes of human rights and damaging the state”.
The strike on January 3 is planned to amplify awareness among people in Pakistan about the critical issues faced by Balochistan, particularly enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. The strike showcases the growing urgency and intensity of the Baloch people’s demands for justice and protecting human rights in Balochistan.
Meanwhile, Mahrang Baloch, the face of the Baloch movement, has vowed to continue the ongoing protest and said that they are ready to make all kinds of sacrifices for the cause.
In a social media post shared on X, Mahrang Baloch wrote, “If this state thinks that we will be afraid of Islamabad Police’s threatening tone, torture and arrest and end our protest, then this is a childish thinking of the state. We have shouldered the mutilated bodies of our loved ones in Balochistan, we have buried the bodies of ten of our youth together, we have spent our childhood in deep pain and sorrow waiting for our loved ones, we have lost our mothers.”
She added, “We have seen the suffering that is unspeakable, we have seen the miserable lives of orphans And you are trying to scare us here with torture and arrests, to scare those who are afraid of losing something with torture and arrests. We have lost everything, everything we loved was what you took from us now we have nothing to lose. We will continue this struggle until the complete end of Baloch genocide and are ready to make all kinds of sacrifices for it.”

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