Pakistan’s federal cabinet has approved the deployment of the military in Balochistan, according to a recent official summary. The decision, enacted under Article 245, came in response to a request from the Balochistan government, which voiced growing concerns about peace and security in the region, as reported by Pakistani media.
The summary details that the deployed military will aid the civil administration in managing the escalating civil unrest. The Ministry of Interior is expected to issue an official notification regarding the military deployment imminently.
This move comes in the wake of the arrest of former Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, an event that has triggered a spate of protests and blockades across numerous cities. In a bid to manage the escalating situation, the government has implemented Section 144, a rule prohibiting public gatherings of more than four individuals. This legislation is currently in effect in the capital city of Islamabad and four other provinces. Military forces have already been stationed in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Islamabad, addressing similar security apprehensions.
While the government asserts the military deployment is a necessary step towards restoring peace and security, this decision prompts pressing questions. These relate to the delicate balance of civil-military relations in Pakistan, potential infringements on civil liberties, the right to protest, and potential long-term implications for regional stability.