Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) has lodged an FIR against several attendees at the funeral of Sumaiya Qalandarani. The FIR accuses attendees of promoting separatist ideologies and encouraging the younger generation of Balochistan to adopt these viewpoints.
The FIR specifically refers to a widely circulated photograph from the funeral that includes thirteen notable political and social figures from Turbat in attendance, such as Gulzar Dost and Maulana Khalid Waleed Saifi. The CTD contends that an unidentified individual displayed a victory sign during the funeral, interpreting it as a potential violation under the ATA’s Sections 11-F and 11-W, although this interpretation has yet to be verified through legal channels.
Back in June, Sumaiya Qalandarani executed an attack on a convoy of Pakistani secret agencies at Chakar-e-Azum Chowk, Turbat. The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a group seeking Balochistan’s independence from Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack. The group’s spokesperson, Jeeyand Baloch, stated that “BLA’s female fidayee (self-sacrificer) Sumaiya Qalandarani Baloch was behind the attack on Pakistani security forces.”
The funeral rites for Ms. Qalandarani took place in the cemetery of Dashti Bazaar and was attended by a significant number of people. Notable attendees included Khalid Waleed Saifi, the vice president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Balochistan; Ghulam Yasin Baloch, the convener of All Parties Kech; Haji Qadir Ahmad of the Peoples Party; and Gulzar Dost, the convener of the Turbat Civil Society, among others.
The accusations levelled in the FIR have yet to be legally assessed, and the implications for those named remain uncertain. However, this incident brings to light the escalating tensions in the region, emphasizing the intricate dynamics of the situation in Balochistan. Instances such as this, where individuals attending a funeral might face legal repercussions, underline the growing discord between the local Baloch population and the Pakistani security apparatus.