Two officials of Pakistani security forces were kidnapped on Tuesday and the rescue reinforcements for the abductees thwarted an ambush attempt during the search in the Ziarat area of Balochistan.
According to the reports, two security forces personnel were abducted by unidentified individuals. The kidnapping took place on a road leading to the tourist hotspot of Ziarat — around 127 km from the capital city of Quetta. At present, the abductors’ identities and affiliations remain unconfirmed.
The incident was reported on Tuesday by Pakistani officials providing limited information regarding it. In a related development, forces dispatched to locate and recover the kidnapped personnel, encountered a potential ambush. An improvised explosive device (IED) was planted along the route leading to the Ziarat cross, but a bomb disposal squad reportedly managed to defuse the device.
In a span of nine months, this kidnapping is the third such incident involving Pakistani security forces in Balochistan. The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has been involved in similar abductions, including the kidnapping and killing of an on-duty Pakistan Army Colonel in July last year. In a separate operation in September, the BLA abducted two Frontier Corps personnel and “downed a military helicopter” during the search operations, resulting in the deaths of six servicemen, including pilot Major Mohammad Munib Afzal and co-pilot Major Khurram Shahzad.
Previously, the BLA expressed a willingness to engage in prisoner swaps to secure the release of their captives. However, no progress was made in such negotiations from the Pakistani side.
The latest incident follows two bombings in Quetta on Monday. The Baloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attacks, which targeted a senior police official and a station house officer. The group’s spokesperson cited officers’ involvement in the mistreatment of the Baloch people as the motive for the bombings. In a press release, Jeeyand Baloch, the spokesperson for the group accused the targeted Superintendent of Police (Investigation), Nasir-ul-Hasan Shah, of participating in the brutal treatment of the Baloch people under the guise of investigation. The spokesperson reiterated the group’s commitment to holding those responsible for atrocities against the Baloch people accountable.