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Four Pakistani security force personnel killed as anti-CPEC insurgency in Balochistan takes root

The minority Baloch people protest outside the British parliament (Photo: @freebalochmovt)

Four security personnel from various Pakistani forces were killed in a series of bomb and gun attacks in various parts of Balochistan, where a raging separatist insurgency against Islamabad is taking root, targeting the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

In the latest incident, two Frontier Corps personnel were killed while on patrol in a bomb blast in Balochistan capital Quetta on Thursday. The pro liberation movement Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) took responsibility for the attack, says local newspaper The Balochistan Post.

In a separate incident on Thursday, one security official and a civilian were killed in firing in Dera Bugti district, of the same province. Similarly on Wednesday, armed men shot killed a police official from the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).

Security forces arrive at the blast site of Serena Hotel in Quetta, Balochistan, in April 2021 (Photo: Asad/Xinhua/IANS)

Pakistani newspaper Dawn reports that in rising attacks in the region, 13 people were injured, four critically, when a bomb targeted a security vehicle in Balochistan's Kharan district on Tuesday. The bomb was fitted in a motorbike.

Just a day earlier, Baloch nationalists had killed the leader of a 'death quad' surreptitiously run by the Pakistani State. The notorious death squads of Pakistan have been documented for extra-judicial killings and kidnappings of Baloch youth.

Recently, a television reporter working for Pakistani news channel Metro One News was killed in a targeted bomb blast in Balochistan's Hub area. Hub is on the border with Karachi, Pakistan's financial powerhouse, which is reportedly witnessing an influx of terrorists from Afghanistan. Dawn reported that reporter Shahid Zehri "was travelling in a car in Hub when he was attacked reportedly with a homemade grenade".

Reflecting on the current situation, Geopolitical analyst, Mark Kinra told India Narrative: “The Pakistani Army has been conducting various military operations and targeting innocent Baloch citizens. Various operations are being conducted in Kech, Awaran, Bolan, Harnai, Kohlu, Kharan, Nushki, Sibi. It is reported that the Pakistani Army even sexually assaulted women in Panjgur district. Baloch nationalists have been fighting back and attacking policemen, death squad members and army personnel for atrocities being committed by Pakistan Army and organizations working under them”.

Balochistan, which is Pakistan's largest state and sparsely populated, is in the grip of a powerful independence movement. The Baloch people say that Pakistan annexed their independent country nearly seven decades ago for which they are running a freedom movement.

With Pakistan initiating the ambitious China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, a large part of which runs through Balochistan, the Baloch feel marginalised as they find that the two fast friends are preying upon local resources with no jobs or benefits accruing to the Baloch. Consequently, the local population has intensified its rebellion against the Pakistani military as well as the Chinese nationals working on the CPEC.

This year Balochistan faced severe water and power shortages which rekindled the freedom movement in the province.

In a Press Release from London, the Free Balochistan Movement (FBM) said that it will commemorate the Baloch martyrs’ day across the world including Balochistan, UK, Europe and the US and the Middle East. They have marked November 13 to remember the Baloch youth who have given their lives for freedom from Pakistani occupation.