Dozens of Pakistani military personnel have been reportedly killed and numerous injured after the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) fighters stormed Pakistan military camps on Thursday.
Considered by many as one of the deadliest attacks on the Pakistani security forces, 16 Baloch militants from BLA’s Majeed Brigade launched twin assaults on the Frontier Corps’ bases in the Nushki and Panjgur districts of Balochistan.
Nine of the sixteen militants who launched the attack on the military camp in Nushki died after inflicting deadly blows to the Pakistani military for 16 hours. While the other seven BLA fighters who had attacked the military camp in the Panjgur district embraced death after engaging the Pakistani military including its SSG commandos and gunship helicopters in a deadly battle for over 70 hours.
Although an exact death toll is not yet available as the Pakistan military has not allowed any media to report on the incident except for its own version of the story. The Pakistan Army’s media wing, the ISPR says it has lost 12 of its men, however, many familiar with Balochistan’s grim situation are skeptical about the figure given by the ISPR. The BLA on the other hand has claimed that its fighters have killed 170 Pakistani soldiers.
The attacks have not only rubbished the Pakistan military’s claims that it has crushed the Baloch militants but have raised serious questions on its ability to deal with the Baloch militancy.
The BLA comprising of people from across Balochistan oppose the state of Pakistan’s criminal policies in Balochistan that include the illegal control of Balochistan, the ruthless exploitation of its natural wealth, humiliation and the physical elimination of its people.
The Pakistan army on the other hand has always disregarded instead of conceding legitimacy to the genuine demands of the Baloch people and has resorted to the use of military power to crush the Baloch dissent.
Baloch and Pakistan are caught in a deadly war. According to many observers of the Baloch conflict in Pakistan, the resolution of this protracted and bloody conflict lies in creating a polity that recognizes the legitimate national rights of the Baloch to a sovereign state.
The only peaceful solution to the Baloch conflict is ascertaining the free will of the Baloch people by holding a referendum under the auspices of the UN, after putting the entire Baloch land under the mandate of the UN for a specified period.