Reduced to ashes: Pakistan army set fire to huge forest area in Balochistan

New Delhi (NVI): Acres of forest area, including fields and palm trees, has been set on fire allegedly by the Pakistani army in Balochistan’s Dasht, in yet another oppressing and atrocious action against the Baloch people for resisting the Pakistan government’s illegal occupation in the region and raising their voices for a free Balochistan.

According to reports, a fire broke out in Hapsagz Hasadi and Dabebi forests of Dasht tehsil, in Kech district last night.

Thousands of different types of trees are reportedly charred by the blaze. Flames of the fire appeared in the distance, reports The Balochistan Post.

As per the locals, the fire spread out up to at least 50 Km range and damaged all the trees within. While it is a huge loss for local farmers in the region, it is also a huge environmental loss for people in the area.

While the exact cause of the forest fire is yet to be ascertained, no action has been taken by the district administration yet, the Baloch media reported.

However, locals in the area have blamed Pakistani forces for the blaze. Several Baloch activists and human rights experts have also said that this is a sort of collective punishment by the Pakistani army for the people in the region.

“This wild fire isn’t caused by the climate change. This is part of Pakistan army’s collective punishment policy of Baloch people. After continues operations for 2 weeks, last night, they set the fields on fire. Almost 50 KM were destroyed, including thousands of palm trees,” tweets Hakeem Baloch, President of Baloch National Movement from UK Zone and also a freelance journalist.

“THIS IS HIGHLY CONDEMNABLE! #PakistanArmy is practicing Scorched Earth Policy in Occupied #Balochistan. This will never matter to the world. We are not #Labenon nor #Syria, neither we are #Australia nor the #Amazon. This is our #Balochistan that has been set on fire by #PakArmy,” tweets Jamal Baloch, a human rights activist from Balochistan.

This is just another instance of malicious damage that Pakistan is inflicting on the people of Balochistan. Not a single day passes by when a person in not abducted by Pakistani forces in Balochistan.

Recently, a female journalist, artist and social activist, Shaheena Shaheen Baloch, was allegedly shot in Tehsil Turbat of district Kech in Balochistan.

She was the host of a morning show on PTV Bolan, Chief-in-editor of the Baloch magazine ‘Dasgohar’ and an artist. She believed in gender equality and had also campaigned for women rights in Balochistan.

Last month, a Baloch youth was shot dead in the same district of Balochistan by Pakistani forces, in retaliation to an alleged attack on them in Turbat city, according to a local media report.

The deceased, Mohammad Hayat, son of Mirza Baloch, was a final year student of University of Karachi’s department of Physiology.

Hayat’s death has almost turned into a massive campaign against human rights violations by Pakistani forces and killing, abductions of innocent people in the name of security, backed by Islamabad’s propaganda.

-ARK