Baloch Protesters Granted Bail, Set for Release: Islamabad Police

Web DeskDecember 24, 20233254 min
Baloch Protesters Granted Bail, Set for Release: Islamabad Police

On Sunday, Islamabad police announced the approval of bail for detained Baloch protesters who were apprehended during a rally advocating against enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. This update follows a three-day ultimatum issued by the Baloch Yakjehti Committee, organizers of the Baloch long march in Islamabad, demanding the dismissal of cases against students and activists, along with the release of all demonstrators.

The Baloch long march, originating in Turbat on December 6 due to the alleged “extra-judicial killing” of a Baloch youth by Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) officials, reached the federal capital last Wednesday. However, the Islamabad police dispersed and detained the demonstrators using force, resulting in over 200 detentions across various areas. This action faced severe condemnation from human rights groups, politicians, the Islamabad High Court (IHC), President Dr. Arif Alvi, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, and analysts.

While the government reported the release of 90 percent of the detained individuals on Thursday, discrepancies emerged regarding the actual number granted bail. The Baloch Yakjehti Committee claimed that despite the bail approval, the release was revoked.

Read more:PPP Faces Challenges in Attracting Electable Candidates from Balochistan

In their statement today, Islamabad police highlighted the protesters’ demands for the release of their detained companions during discussions with a cabinet committee formed by the prime minister. Consequently, considering legal obligations, bail was granted to the arrested protesters, who are currently being released. The police urged relatives of the detainees to contact them for necessary legal assistance.

Earlier in the day, the caretaker government confirmed ongoing negotiations with the protesters, emphasizing the right to peaceful protests for all Pakistanis. Interior Secretary Aftab Akbar Durrani assured compliance with the prime minister’s orders, ensuring no harm, torture, or harassment to protesters. However, he reiterated that no individual would be allowed to take the law into their own hands, underlining the enforcement of court orders as per the IHC’s directives.

Amidst this, the Baloch Yakjehti Committee posted on X (formerly Twitter), affirming the movement’s continuation through a sit-in outside the National Press Club, revealing that approximately 250 students and activists remain in Islamabad police custody.

Meanwhile, Balochistan’s caretaker Information Minister Jan Achakzai addressed a press conference in Quetta, highlighting the province’s challenges, emphasizing that the missing persons were alleged Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) terrorists. He accused militant groups of utilizing women and facilitating militants, rejecting the legitimacy of the Baloch Yakjehti Committee and its representation of the Baloch people. Achakzai vowed the government’s commitment to maintaining law and order in Balochistan.

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