The killing of ANP worker Khaliq Daad by Pakistani army in retaliatory fire against BLA assault led to massive protests in Harnai, Balochistan (Photo: Twitter)
August has seen an attack a day on the Pakistani army. In one of the major attacks, the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed earlier this week that it had killed eight Pakistani army personnel and injured nineteen in eight different attacks in conflict-ridden Balochistan.
However, the Pakistani government claimed that only two soldiers, Naik Atif and Sepoy Qayyum, were killed and a major injured in the attack on a check-post in Harnai district in Balochistan. Pakistani President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif sent their condolences to the soldiers. The public relations wing of the Pakistani forces, the ISPR too confirmed the news of the attack.
Balochistan Liberation Front has released a video showing an IED attack on Pakistani Military in Mashkay, #Balochistan
— Bahot Baloch | باہوٹ 🕊 (@Bahot_Baluch) August 15, 2022
The attacks were carried out as a mark of protest on Pakistan's independence day on August 14. Moreover, the BLA used the little known 'Fateh Squad' whose fighters are known for their war skills.
Geopolitical analyst Mark Kinra told India Narrative: "Attacks increased considerably on 11 August 1947–the Balochistan independence day. Again, three days later on Pakistan's independence day, which the Baloch mark as Black Day, the fighters conducted more attacks. Baloch freedom fighters have conducted 20 attacks against Pakistani forces between August 1-14".
Kinra adds: "The deadly Harnai operation was carried out by the newly formed Fateh Squad of BLA (Basher Zeb) Group. Fateh Squad formed in May 2021 after one of BLA's leading fighters Fateh Qambrani, who was killed during an act of capturing Pakistani Army camp at Meshdari, Shahrag in 2018. The fighters in the Fateh Squad are selected on the basis of their exceptional war skills and face-to-face battles. They lead their fighters directly into Pakistani army and paramilitary camps, paving the way for other fighters to enter the camps".
He adds that the difference between the Fateh Squad and the deadly Majeed Brigade is that the latter is a suicide squad.
Strongly condemn the indiscriminate firing by Pak army soldiers on unarmed protestors in Harnai Balochistan.This resulted in the death of Khaliqdad, a member of ANP. Many were injured as well. These incidents keep happening because there are no legal consequences for perpetrators pic.twitter.com/9sDHckifIs
— Mohsin Dawar (@mjdawar) August 14, 2022
The BLA claimed in a press release that in a major operation its fighters "targeted the main Pakistani military camp from two different directions. The operation was carried out by BLA’s Fateh squad with the aid of a sniper team. Rockets were also fired at this camp. Six enemy personnel were killed, whereas, seven including a major ranked officer were injured in this attack".
It added that it launched another attack on "a supply convoy of Pakistani military" on the Quetta-Harnai main highway in which another army personnel was killed and multiple enemy vehicles damaged.
کھوسٹ ہرنائی میں ریاستی اداروں کی جانب سے خالقداد کو شہید اور اس واقعے میں دیگر سات افراد کو زخمی کرنے کے خلاف دھرنے میں پارٹی رہنماؤں کے ہمراہ شرکت اور خطاب pic.twitter.com/hPRujiM4Bf
— Asghar khan Achakzai (@AsgharAchakzaii) August 15, 2022
The retaliatory firing by the Pakistani security forces resulted in the death of a Pashtun activist of the Awami National Party (ANP). Local political parties carried out protests on Monday and Tuesday over the death of the activist and blocked the highway.
The Balochistan Port reported that ANP parliamentary leader Asghar Khan Achakzai alleged that seven people were injured in firing by the Pakistani forces. Other Baloch politicians raised the matter in Balochistan's provincial assembly.
BLA spokesperson Jeeyand Baloch said that the BLA rebels carried out attacks across Balochistan in Panjgur, Kech, Tump, Dhadar and Kalat, including attacking Pakistan's independence day celebrations.