A large-scale military operation is being conducted since Sunday by the Pakistan Army in the mountain ranges of Bolan, Balochistan.
The military operation started on started has been intensified today. As per reports, the Pakistan military’s gunship helicopters have been seen shelling in different areas. While reports of clashes between Pakistani forces and Baloch fighters have also been received, however, more details in this regard are yet to come.
The military operation is ongoing in the areas of Bolan, Kaman, Yakho, Uch-Kaman, Gumbadi, Darag Pirani, Saro, Buzgar, and Sangan in Sibi, while the army is also advancing in the mountain ranges adjacent to the Harnai district of Balochistan.
According to the sources, helicopters have been seen shelling in Uch-Kaman areas and massive explosions have also been heard. According to residents of the aforementioned areas, they have a fear of being targeted by the army.
The operation in Bolan today comes after the Baloch Liberation Army’s (BLA) last ultimatum given to the Pakistan army for prisoner swap talks. BLA released a statement to the media on Friday last week giving a one-week ultimatum to the Pakistani authorities for prisoner swap negotiations till November 4. The group expressed its willingness to engage in prisoner swap negotiations with the Pakistani state in the presence of international arbiters but warned that if the Pakistani state resorted to violence and aggression to free its prisoners, BLA would promptly execute them in its defense.
BLA claims its fighters had cornered two Pakistani agents – Kaleem Ullah and Muhammad Faisal Basheer – in an intelligence-based operation in the Harnai district of Balochistan, on the night of September 25, 2022. The two prisoners were brought before the “Baloch national court” where the BLA senior command unanimously decided that by following the international laws of war, as enshrined in the Third Geneva Convention, the two prisoners would be swapped with the Pakistani state for detained Baloch political activists.
After the aforementioned incident, the Pakistan Army launched an operation where one of the two helicopters participating in the operation was shot down by armed men. The “pro-independence group” BLA accepted the responsibility of detaining the mentioned persons, attacking the coal trucks, and shooting down the helicopter.
BLA has released two statements regarding the prisoner swap negotiations but the Pakistani government and army authorities have not yet responded to the group’s offer. Meanwhile, scores of people took to the streets in Pattoki, a small city in Punjab’s Kasur district, to protest for the safe release of Faisal Basheer, one of the prisoners detained by BLA. The family members of the detainee entreated the Pakistani authorities to negotiate the release of Faisal Basheer, but no developments have been made by the authorities so far.