Pakistan: Thousands join Baloch march against genocide as it organises sit-in at Dera Gazi Khan

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Massive crowds gathered at Dera Gazi Khan in Balochistan as the March against Baloch genocide staged a sit-in against the arrest of several Baloch cadre as well as against the disappearance of Baloch people. Thousands of people were seen participating in the ongoing rally by the Baloch Unity Committee in Dera Ghazi Khan. Ghayur Baloch of Makran, Jhalawan, Sarawan, Kohistan, Koh-e-Sulaiman and Dera Ghazi Khan are raising their voice against state terrorism. The protestors held placards and banners with slogans like ‘Stop your terrorism’ in the state of Balochistan. The Protestors said the the Baloch nation will no longer accept the process of kidnapping, killing and killing people in fake encounters.

Mehrang Baloch a political worker in her post on X said “If this state thinks that it has the force of paid soldiers, then it should remember that we have people’s power and with this people’s power the sit-in will continue till the recovery of our youth in DG Khan. Baloch people should ensure their participation in Dharna and tomorrow’s protest rally.” Earlier, in Turbat, Balochistan, the Long March had faced resistance as at least 20 participants, including women, were detained as the Baloch Yakjehti Council’s (BYC) long march reached Dera Ghazi Khan, Dawn reported.

Led by Mohammad Asif Laghari, the BYC’s long march was intercepted on Shah Sikander Road. The police claimed the participants resisted, leading to the detention of several men and women, although the women were later released. “Baloch Solidarity Committee’s Dharna is continuing at DG Khan, Gadai Changi, but the police have blocked the road from all sides and are continuously harassing and harassing the Baloch people participating in the dharna,” posted the Baloch Yakjahti Committee on X. ASP City Rehmatullah Durrani informed protesters of the imposition of Section 144, prohibiting processions or rallies, a directive the participants defied, as reported by Dawn.

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Legal proceedings have been initiated under Section 144, with police warning of action against violators until December 19, according to police. Previously, a rally in Barkhan expressed solidarity with Balaach Mola Bakhsh’s family. The BYC’s spokesman reported the marchers’ departure from Kohlu town to Dera Ghazi Khan via Barkhan, where they were halted by a heavy police contingent. Attempts to enter Dera Ghazi town, observing a partial strike, resulted in a police baton charge. Approximately 20 participants, including two women, were taken into custody and moved to an undisclosed location. BYC leaders condemned the baton charge, vowing to continue their struggle and reach Islamabad to protest the ‘extrajudicial killing’ of Bakhsh.

The committee also stated that the sit-in would continue until the arrested activists from DG Khan are released. “The sit-in of Baloch Yakjehti Committee continues at Gadhai Chowk, Dera Ghazi Khan till the arrested activists from DG Khan are released. Despite hurdles and repression, a huge amount of people came from all areas of DG Khan to welcome the Caravan of long march against Baloch Genocide. We urge the people of Dera Ghazi Khan and peripheries to come and join the sit-in and protesting rally tomorrow at 12:00 am to halt the collective genocide of Baloch nation,” the committee said in another post on X.

The committee also requested Baloch people of Dera Ghazi Khan and surrounding areas to reach DG Khan where the dharna is currently being staged. The committee said “The brutal actions taken by the police in DG Khan for the last two days prove how much the state is afraid of the Baloch unity. By erecting obstacles in Sakhi Sarwar, Bawata Check Post and all other areas, the state sent a message to the Baloch that Baloch have no human and constitutional rights.” The Balcoh Long March is being orgainsed by the Baloch people who have called for an end to state terrorism and massacres in Balochistan.