Expressing concern over the police crackdown on Baloch protesters in Islamabad, Pakistan President Arif Alvi and caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar announced measures to improve the law and order situation in Balochistan, Dawn reported. Islamabad Police cracked down on and broke up Baloch protesters, who had gathered in the capital on Wednesday night to voice their opposition to enforced disappearances and alleged extrajudicial killings in their region.
More than 200 demonstrators from various parts of Islamabad were arrested. Police batons, water cannons and tear gas were also used against the protesters, according to Dawn. Politicians, analysts, and human rights organisations denounced the events. Later, on Thursday night, the administration announced that 90 per cent of the Baloch men and women detained had been freed, except individuals who police were unable to identify, according to Dawn.
Chief Justice Aamer Farooq of the Islamabad High Court chastised the capital city police earlier over the same matter. According to a presidential news release, the President and the PM discussed the matter over the phone and agreed that the police should not have treated the protestors harshly. Meanwhile, Governor Malik Abdul Wali Khan Kakar of Balochistan called on President Alvi and discussed the situation of the region, the general state of affairs in the province and the abuses committed by the police against the demonstrators, Dawn reported.
“Police should deal with protesters with patience and compassion,” the statement quoted the governor as saying, according to Dawn. The two agreed that the police should not have acted beyond their limits and powers. President Alvi and Governor Kakar also informed him of the measures to improve the law and order situation in Balochistan.
The Balochistan Yakjehti committee, meanwhile, noted that the Baloch Long March against alleged Baloch genocide, illegal forced disappearance of the people, the killing of missing persons by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in fake encounters and the activity of death squads across Balochistan has drawn widespread support.