Panjgoor: BNP-Mengal boycotts municipal elections in protest

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Balochistan National Party Mengal has decided to boycott the impending municipal elections in Panjgoor in protest over the unrest in the city and the failure of the officials to arrest the murderers of young footballer Dad Jan Baloch who was killed in broad daylight. The party withdrew the nominations of its members running in the election.

Family members of the slain Dad Jan Baloch and the general public have been protesting for the third day in Panjgoor over the failure of the district officials to arrest the killers of Dad Jan Baloch. Protest Organizer Zubair Baloch said that it is the third day of the protest and neither the district administration nor government officials have approached the family members. He said that until our demands are not met, we will not budge.

BNP-Mengal Executive Committee Member Haji Zahid visited the protest on Wednesday and expressed solidarity with the protestors. Addressing the gathering, he said that his party has decided to boycott the municipal elections in Panjgoor in protest over the failure of the administration to arrest the killer of Dad Jan Baloch. He said that the BNP-Mengal will withdraw the nomination of its nominees in solidarity with the protestors.

Local sources have said that the protest is gaining momentum – scores of people from different areas of Panjgoor have gathered to participate in the protest and express solidarity with the family members of Dad Jan Baloch. A large number of participants are also demanding the safe release of their loved ones who they claim were “forcibly disappeared” by the Pakistani security forces. Local sources have also said that the protest can grow big because initially, the protestors were only demanding the arrest of the murderers of Dad Jan Baloch and an end to the locally armed militia – the “death squads” – who are allegedly involved in crimes such as enforced disappearances, kill-and-dumps, burglaries and drug trafficking. But as the protest is diversifying, the protestors are also demanding an end to “enforced disappearances” and the safe release of their loved ones.

National Party leader Haji Saleh said that Balochistan has been burning in an inferno for the past two decades – people are being “forcibly disappeared” and the educated youth are being picked up one by one. He said that the Pakistani security forces and intelligence agencies are responsible for the current unrest in Balochistan. He said that the local administration is the pawns of the security forces – they have the blood of the Baloch on their hands because they are equally involved in the Baloch genocide.


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