Pakistan media criticises government for crackdown on Baloch long march protesters

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Islamabad [Pakistan], December 27: The crackdown on Baloch long march protesters has brought a lot of criticism to the federal government for not being able to ensure the safety of people, after unidentified armed men took away the sound system used by the demonstrators.
The Baloch protesters remained in their camps outside Islamabad’s National Press Club, pressing authorities to accept their demands.
However, on Monday night, unidentified armed men stormed the camp and stole the demonstrators’ sound system.
Soon after the incident took place, social media was swamped with footage of unclothed people fleeing the camp in a white double-cabin van equipped with a sound system.
In a post on ‘X’, renowned Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir expressed sympathy with the protesters.
“We condemn terror acts in Balochistan but there is a need to condemn those who violated the Constitution, derailed democracy and the judiciary provided relief to them, there is no relief to the helpless mother sitting here seeking the return of her son,” he said.
Notably, Mir visited the camp outside the National Press Club on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, after the harrowing incident took place, political activist Mahrang Baloch told media that, while the women and children were sleeping, some masked men arrived at the camp in a white van, loaded with firearms.
In addition, Mahrang also confronted Magistrate Zeeshan Babar regarding the camp incident as soon as he arrived at the press club in the morning.
“You were here to protect us but now you say that nobody knows who raided the place and took our equipment,” the activist asked.
The Baloch protestors alleged on Tuesday that three men entered their camp at midnight on Monday and harassed the women who were sleeping there, besides other girls.
One of the activists, Sammi Deen Baloch, stated that last night, cameras were installed in the camp.
However, these men closed the cameras and showed pistols to the marchees and entered the camp.
“Closing the cameras that were installed last night, then getting off 3 people from 2 vehicles in the presence of the police, showing pistols to the comrades, entering our camp and harassing the women, taking the sound speakers from where all of us women and girls were sleeping, and escaping with them added to your low standard,” she wrote in a post on X.
The leader of the Baloch Solidarity Committee, Mahrang Baloch, noted that instead of ending the genocide and human rights violations, they attacked our camp at midnight.
“We travelled 100s of KM & came to the capital of this state to protest against the #BalochGenocide, but you see the seriousness of this state. Instead of ending our genocide & HR violations, they attacked our camp at 3:15 AM, & stole our sound system,” she posted on X.
Earlier, the Baloch Yakjehti Committee complained that the Islamabad Police was using different tools to harass the Baloch protestors and have now installed surveillance cameras to threaten them and the families of Baloch’s missing people.
The march from Turbat to Islamabad faced numerous challenges, with the state imposing ‘barriers and arrests’, yet the “march united Baloch and revealed the government’s oppressive actions”, the Baloch Yakjahti Committee added.
The committee said the movement began with a peaceful sit-in in Turbat, lasting 13 days, before transitioning into a peaceful long march covering hundreds of kilometres to reach the capital.

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