In the lead-up to the 2024 general elections, a series of coordinated attacks across Balochistan has targeted Pakistani security forces and election campaign offices in areas including Gwadar, Buleda, Panjgur, Khuzdar, Hub, Kharan, and Nushki. These incidents, involving remote-controlled IEDs, grenade launchers, and automatic weapons, mark a significant escalation in armed activities.
The Baloch Raji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS), an alliance of several Baloch “pro-independence” groups, has claimed responsibility for 15 of these attacks. Baloch Khan, the spokesperson for BRAS, stated that the attacks targeted the “occupying Pakistani army” and those involved in the electoral process, reportedly causing numerous casualties among security forces and material damages.
According to the BRAS spokesperson, on February 4th, “sarmachars” (freedom fighters) targeted a Pakistani forces vehicle with a remote-controlled IED in the area of Naleent, Gwadar, allegedly causing multiple casualties. On February 2nd, another assault was launched against a Pakistani forces post in Buleda, utilizing rockets and grenade launcher rounds.
The campaign of attacks also targeted individuals associated with the election campaign. On the night of February 2nd, the residence of Mir Yaqoob Qambarani, a National Party leader, was hit with hand grenades in Awaran. Subsequent attacks targeted the residences of election candidates and former ministers in Panjgur, as well as election offices in Hub and Greshag, and polling stations in Kharan. An IED explosion also damaged the Election Commission office in Nushki.
BRAS’s spokesperson emphasized that these actions were intended as warnings to those involved in the election campaign, noting that precautions were taken to minimize civilian casualties. However, the statement also advised the public to maintain a safe distance from election-related activities and sites, signaling a rise in armed attacks as Pakistan’s general elections approach.
This uptick in armed activities underscores the tense atmosphere in Balochistan in the lead-up to Pakistan’s general elections. Notably, BRAS, the umbrella organization of armed groups, has executed 92 attacks across the region in just nine days.