Pakistan targeted innocent Baloch refugees in attacks in Iran: BNM

at 9:55 pm

Quetta: Baloch National Movement (BNM) has disputed Pakistan’s claim about targeting “militants” in attacks in Iran, saying the people hit and killed were common Baloch refugees, including women and children.

Pakistani authorities and media are falsely asserting that the Pakistani army targeted the hideouts of Sarmachars (freedom fighters) in retaliation to the Iranian attack on Panjgur, BNM spokesman Qazi Dad Mohd Rehan said.

The attack resulted in killing of 10 individuals who had sought refuge in western Balochistan to escape the oppression of the Pakistani army, including women and children, the BNM spokesman said in a statement.

He said the deceased included family of BNM’s Central Council member Dost Mahmod.

Pakistan carried out missile attacks in Iran, claiming to target Baloch ‘militants’, in tit-for-tat action on Thursday after Iran conducted similar cross-border attacks in Pakistan to target terror group Jaish-al Adl a day earlier.

The spokesperson said video footage and photographic evidence clearly demonstrate that Pakistan, in reality, aimed at the civilian population, leading to the martyrdom of women and children.

Chairman Dost, identified by Pakistan as the primary target of the attack, was an “unarmed political activist” who openly engaged on social media using his real identity, he said.

Had he been a commander of an armed organization, it is unlikely he would have maintained an active presence on social media with his real identity, the spokesman pointed out.

“BNM pays tribute to the martyred chairman Dosta and the other victims,” the spokesman said.

“Chairman Dost’s enduring commitment to the movement and his sacrifices for the party will be eternally remembered, ensuring his place in our collective memory,” he said.

The BNM spokesperson said Dost Mahmood, originally from Parom in Panjgur district of eastern Balochistan, relocated due to the relentless military aggressions conducted by the Pakistani army.

Seeking refuge, he and his family moved to the village of Shamsar (Haqabad) in Iran-administered West Balochistan, situated a few kilometers away from Parom, where they lived with close relatives for several years.

“Tragically, on Thursday, BNM Senior Member Chairman Dost and his entire family fell victim to a deliberate attack by the Pakistani Army,” the spokesman said.

He highlighted that this incident epitomizes the severe atrocities committed by Pakistan against the Baloch nation.

Seven missiles were launched by Pakistan targeting the civilian population, resulting in extensive destruction to various homes, he said.

Among the martyrs are Dost Mohammad, son of Chairman Dost Mahmod, his wife Shazia, and their young children: Babar Dost, Hani Dost, Chirag Dost, the spokesman said.

Also, among the victims is Najma Baloch from the family of Shaheed Younas Baloch, who migrated from Panjgur, as well as the innocent children Farhad son of Mohammad jan, Mahikan and Mahzeb, he added.

He said this attack marks an unprecedented level of severity, particularly in terms of the tragic loss of women and children.

However, even prior to this incident, Baloch refugees have faced lethal threats from Pakistani agencies in neighboring countries such as Afghanistan and Iran, as well as in various other nations globally, he said.

The Baloch National Movement has consistently urged the international community to intervene and safeguard the lives of those who migrated from Eastern Balochistan to Western Balochistan, advocating for their recognition as refugees on the international stage, the spokesman said.

He emphasized that rather than maintaining silence on this attack, the global community must hold Pakistan  accountable for this terrorist act.

“There exists undeniable evidence pointing to Pakistan’s deliberate perpetration of these attacks on civilian populations,” he said, adding, “Innocent individuals with no involvement in armed activities were specifically targeted.”

The spokesperson highlighted that, in addition to numerous party members, ordinary Baloch individuals have sought refuge in various countries, including Iran-controlled Balochistan, Afghanistan, the Gulf, Europe, and the United States, escaping the oppression and brutality imposed by Pakistan.

Despite their widespread dispersion, international organizations have regrettably overlooked the recognition of Baloch refugees, failing to include them in priority lists, he said.

“Consequently, Baloch refugees encounter challenges in registering their refugee status and are denied the rights afforded to refugees at the international level,” the BNM spokesman said.