What's happening with the Baloch long march in Pakistan?

Sweta Gupta
Sweta GuptaDec 21, 2023 | 14:19

What's happening with the Baloch long march in Pakistan?

The death of Younus Baloch's brother in Balochistan prompted a 1,600-kilometer march to Islamabad, against extrajudicial killings in the province. (Photo Credits: Twitter)

A protest march by the Baloch Unity Committee, aimed at drawing attention to forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Balochistan, faced a significant setback as participants were obstructed from accessing the National Press Club's premises in Pakistan's capital of Islamabad on Wednesday night (December 20).


  • The passing of Younus Baloch's brother, Balaach Mola Bakhsh, in a remote Balochistan town last month left his family of folk singers in deep sorrow. 
  • This tragic event sparked a nearly 1,600-kilometer-long march towards Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, to highlight forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in the troubled province.

Dispute Over CTD's account

  • According to Balochistan's Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), Balaach Mola Bakhsh, a tailor, was arrested on November 20 with explosives and appeared in court the next day. 
  • However, conflicting narratives arise as the CTD claims his death on November 23 resulted from a shootout between security officials and militants.
  • The family vehemently disputes this account, accusing the CTD of orchestrating Bakhsh's death in a staged encounter.

Allegations of abduction

  • The family asserts that he was abducted on October 29 from his home and presented in court almost a month later. Refusing to bury him, the family, along with a substantial number of men and women, protested outdoors next to Bakhsh's coffin, pressuring the police to file a report against CTD personnel for the alleged killing.
  • He was eventually laid to rest on November 29. Police filed a report on December 9 against four CTD members, but only after the province's top court rejected the government's attempt to prevent the filing.

Obstacles during the march

  • Despite transport blockades and threats to protesters, the Balochistan Yakjehti Committee commenced its march from Dera Ghazi Khan to Islamabad on Tuesday.
  • Mehrang Baloch, a political worker, said the participants of the long march have been prevented from entering Islamabad.

Previously, the Baloch Yakjahti Committee had said that the authorities sent the military to prevent the peaceful march from Turbat.

It said that thousands of forces have been deployed to obstruct the long march and expressed concerns about the Pakistan Supreme Court's lack of response to the actions of Pakistani forces.


Alleged state actions

The Balock people are claiming that the state has declared war against them. They have accused that the state institutions are targeting participants of the long march, students, and families of missing persons in Islamabad. 


They have also accused that hundreds of individuals, including students and women, have been abducted and killed at an undisclosed location.

Last updated: December 21, 2023 | 14:19
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy