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Pakistan Releases 290 Baloch Activists Amidst Controversy

Pakistani police released 290 Baloch activists detained during a protest rally against enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Baluchistan.

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Rizwan Shah
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Pakistan Releases 290 Baloch Activists Amidst Controversy

On December 25, 2023, a momentous event unfolded in Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistani authorities released 290 Baloch activists, detained during a protest rally in the preceding week. These activists traversed approximately 1,000 miles from Baluchistan province, raising their voices against enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in the region.

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Unveiling the Shadows of Baluchistan

These activists, including women and children, were protesting the untimely death of Balaach Mola Bakhsh, a 24-year-old Baloch youth, who lost his life while under police custody. Their efforts to highlight this tragedy were met with strong resistance as police deployed batons and water cannons, leading to the arrest of many present. This incident has cast a stark light on the ongoing conflict in Baluchistan, a region grappling with a low-level insurgency for over two decades.

The Ultimatum and Release

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The release of these activists followed a three-day ultimatum issued by the protest organizers to the authorities. This ultimatum served as a strong demand to secure the release of those detained, and the compliance to it by the authorities marked a significant moment in this struggle for justice.

National Outcry and Global Attention

The forceful police action against these peaceful protesters has sparked nationwide condemnation. Human rights activists and Baluchistan residents expressed their distress at the situation, bringing the plight of Baluchistan into international focus. The province, home to a long-standing nationalist movement, has witnessed numerous enforced disappearances as nationalists demand independence and a larger share of the region's natural resources.

As the world watches, the release of these 290 Baloch activists is not just a testament to their resilience but also an urgent call for introspection and change in addressing conflicts and human rights abuses within the nation.

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