Tears, anger at Baloch youth’s hometown shot dead by Pak forces

New Delhi (NVI): “Hayat Baloch was one of us,” shouted a woman at the top of her voice as activists and locals gathered at 25-year-old youth’s hometown in Balochistan- Turbat where he was shot dead by Pakistan’s Frontier forces last week.

Witness accounts reveal Hayat was killed in cold blood, in front of his parents, in yet another brazen attempt by Pakistani forces to silence the voices in Balochistan who are fighting for their freedom for the last seven decades.

As activists lighted candles amid mourning over the unfortunate and untimely death Hayat, a child asked: “Who is next?”

The protestors gathered at Fida Shaheed Chowk at the centre of Turbat city to demand justice and conduct an inquiry into the death of the youth. “The FC soldiers who shot him dead have to be punished or we will keep protesting,” said one of the voices amid wailing and protests against Pakistan’s authoritarian regime that has suppressed and harassed the Baloch population for years.

“Hayat Baloch was one us. What crime had he committed that his hands were tied with his mother’s scarf, dragged and shot dead in front of her?,” said a female protester, surrounded by dozens of Baloch people and activists at the centre of the town.

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

Local media had reported that Hayat was shot dead by the forces in retaliation to an alleged attack on them in Turbat city on Thursday.

However, his teachers and fellow classmates at Karachi University said that he has a very sincere and intelligent student.

Several Baloch and Human Rights activists took to Twitter and slammed the Pakistan Government for its unconstitutional ways of dealing with the people in Balochistan who have been raising their voices against years of exploitation.

“#14AugustBlackDay – the Pakistani army shot dead Hayat Mirza, a young student of Karachi University, in front of his father in Kech Aapsar. Pakistan tries to prove that people from occupied nations are destined to die prematurely no matter how peaceful they are,” tweeted Khalil Baloch, chairman of Baloch National Movement political part had tweeted after the incident.

On Thursday, a Baloch armed group had targeted a Pakistan Frontier Corps (FC) convoy in the Absar area of Turbat, which allegedly inflicted casualties on the Pakistani forces, according to a media report.

After the attack on FC convoy, Pakistani forces cordoned off the nearby area and arrested Mohammad Hayat Baloch from a palm tree orchard and shot him dead.

Reportedly, the attack on the convoy took place on eve of August 14, marked as the Independence Day of Pakistan.

However, the Baloch population does not celebrate this day as they consider themselves as a separate territory that was occupied by Pakistan forcibly on March 27, 1948.

Baloch people celebrate 11 August as their independence day every year, as it was on this day in 1947 that the British government gave independence to Balochistan.

They have been protesting against the violence and suppression at the hands of Pakistan military and security forces for decades.

Recently, Baloch armed groups and Sindhi revolutionaries have decided to form a joint front to fight against Pakistan’s occupation and the atrocities inflicted by the Pakistani army on their people in the region.

-ARK