Islamabad: Increased Police Presence Near Baloch Protest Camp Raises Fears of Crackdown

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Tensions have been escalating near the National Press Club (NPC) in Islamabad, where increased police activity around the Baloch protest camp has sparked concerns about a potential crackdown.

On Tuesday evening, protesters demanding an end to enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Balochistan faced challenges from the Islamabad police. The police interfered as the protesters tried to bring essential supplies, including food and blankets, into their camp.

Videos shared on social media show authorities intercepting a vehicle laden with supplies for the protesters. In one notable video, police officers are seen firmly denying the entry of blankets into the protest camp.

The Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC), the organizer of the protest, voiced serious concerns over the increased police presence. “A large number of @ICT_Police have arrived in front of the Sit-in Camp, and we are concerned that they’re going to crack down on us and arrest the peaceful protesters,” a statement from the BYC indicated. The BYC also accused the Islamabad administration of employing various tactics to impede their demonstration, including restricting access to basic necessities.

In a social media statement, Sammi Deen Baloch, a leader of the protest, highlighted the influx of security forces and raised concerns over a potential police crackdown. She urged public support and solidarity from different ethnic groups across Pakistan, emphasizing the non-violent nature of their movement and condemning the use of excessive force by authorities.

MahRang Baloch, another leader of the protest, echoed these sentiments in her statements. She criticized the state’s intimidating and harassing response, calling for global attention to what she termed state fascism.

“We have endured unimaginable losses and suffering in Balochistan. The threat of violence and arrests here in Islamabad cannot deter us. We have nothing left to lose and will continue our struggle until there is an end to Baloch genocide. We are prepared for every sacrifice necessary for this cause,” she said.


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