On March 22, Chief Minister Balochistan’s spokesperson, Babar Yousafzai, and DIG of CTD Aitzaz Goraya held a press conference at the Balochistan Civil Secretariat to discuss the detention and charges against Mahal Baloch. During the conference, they released a confessional video of Mahal Baloch in custody, in which she confesses to her affiliation with the BLF. However, Mahal Baloch’s family claims that the video was made under duress.
This is not the first confessional video of a detainee in CTD custody. In 2015, Pakistani authorities claimed that two members of a Baloch armed organization, Shafqat Rodeni and Ibrahim Nichari, were detained during an operation. Later a video was made and presented to the media at the Quetta Press Club in the presence of the then Home Minister of Balochistan, Sarfaraz Bugti. Few days later, both detainees were killed in a fake encounter in Kanak.
In January 2021, Samiullah Pirkani and Jameel Ahmad Pirkani were arrested from Eastern Bypass and later killed similarly in a fake police encounter, despite appearing in court. Shafqat Yelanzai was also arrested from Kharan, and his confessional video was released while he was in custody, while Abdul Manan and Sarfraz Ahmed were forcibly disappeared from Khuzdar , and their videos were released.
Legal experts state that video confessions made under police custody have no legal status, and Pakistani courts have repeatedly rejected statements recorded under such circumstances. Therefore, the release of such videos is considered propaganda.
Human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and political groups, have expressed concerns about the long detention of Mahal Baloch and the continuation of such incidents by state institutions.
The Chief Minister has invited organizations associated with the Balochistan freedom struggle for talks, but events under the Balochistan government’s auspices show their non-seriousness and could worsen the war-torn situation of Balochistan.