Killing of Balochistan leader a setback for peace prospects


The killing of a pro-independence Balochistan leader, Dr. Manan, on Saturday by the Pakistani security forces in Mastung is a great setback for establishing peace in a volatile region, says analyst Malik Siraj Akbar:

In 2012, when I researched political assassinations in Balochistan as a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Washington D.C., I was surprised to find out that all young political activists who had been subjected to political assassination were actually peaceful and trying to utilize their democratic right to free speech and assembly, he writes for The Huffington Post:

They certainly had a different point of view from the government on numerous outstanding political issues but it did not give the government and the security forces the right to kill or torture political opponents merely because of difference of opinion.

Frederic Grare, former South Asia Director at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, accurately pointed out in his 2013 report, Balochistan: The State Versus the Nation, that repressive policies on the part of the Pakistani security forces had radicalized the Baloch and leaders who had previously demanded autonomy for Balochistan but eventually wrong policies had compelled to take a harsh stand and seek outright independence.

“Many Pakistanis now view the security forces–not the separatists–as the biggest obstacle to national unity and stability,” Grare argued.


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