Pakistan’s largest and poorest province, Balochistan has been the site of a long-running insurgency – and the heavy-handed response from the state has brought forced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and impunity for security forces. In late November, the killing of four Baloch men in an alleged “fake encounter” touched off longstanding anger and anguish. Thousands of Balochs took to the streets to protest, eventually coalescing in a march from Turbat all the way to Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. Security forces responded with a violent crackdown that began the night of December 21.
Where does the protest movement go from here, and what are the prospects for Baloch families to achieve justice for their missing loved ones?
In this video recorded on December 22, The Diplomat’s Shannon Tiezzi spoke to Somaiyah Hafeez, an Islamabad-based journalist who frequently reports on human rights in Balochistan, about the current protest movement and what it means for Balochistan’s future.