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Protests continue in Balochistan against new check posts

Military operation in Balochistan (Photo: @muneer5683)

The highways in Balochistan remained closed for the tenth day in a row as transporters continued their walkout against the government’s plan to set up additional checkpoints on important roads to safeguard travellers following the Nushki killings, reported Dawn.

For more than a week, the transporter union has been demonstrating against the province government’s new standard operating procedures, which call for the establishment of security pickets along the Quetta-Taftan and Coastal routes.

The attack in Noshki, when nine people were kidnapped and executed by gunmen because of their ethnic origin, served as the impetus for the decision.

Despite the provincial ministers’ promises to settle their differences during a meeting on Wednesday, the transporters had gone on strike in protest of this move, closing various highways. Due to the demonstration, there was no transport available for individuals to get to their destinations, which caused great distress.

The new SOPs have been rejected by the transporters, who claim that they were created without consulting them.

Since their buses were being inspected at each checkpoint, they demanded that the government remove all new checkpoints.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Post has reported that the Pakistani security forces have initiated a significant military operation in the district of Nushki. The operation, which began on Wednesday, involves extensive troop movements supported by gunship helicopters targeting mountainous regions.

This military action follows a severe incident on April 13, orchestrated by the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a group advocating for Balochistan’s independence. The BLA blocked the main highway in Nushki, scrutinized vehicles, and executed nine individuals identified from a bus, alleging them to be Pakistani operatives.

Muneer Baloch an activist claimed in a post on X “In just a few hours, after Khuzdar, now in Noshki and surrounding areas, aerial bombardment and attacks on innocent Baloch homes in the name of military operations by the state are part of the ongoing genocide of the Baloch in Balochistan.”

Another activist Behram Balcoch alleged in her post on X “In the mountainous areas between Nushki and Kharan, the offensive of the Pakistani army has continued since this morning, many children and women have been martyred and injured due to firing and bombing.