Violent protests erupted in Pakistan's western province of Balochistan on Wednesday, forcing security forces to abandon their border posts. Balochistan, one of the four provinces of Pakistan, has witnessed constant turmoil since the country's inception in 1947.
On June 10, thousands of protesters gathered at Brabchah and pelted stones at security forces, forcing them to retreat. As per The Balochistan Post, protesters attacked armored vehicles and torched military buildings.
The latest bout of protests in Balochistan erupted last week, seeking justice for a 4-year old girl named Bramsh and her mother Malik Naz were shot by armed robbers at Turbat. While Naz died on the spot, Bramsh suffered injuries and underwent surgery.
While the locals caught the robbers and handed them to the police, the government's inaction and silence forced people to hit the streets to demand justice for Bramsh. #JusticeForBramsh trended on social media, in which Baloch people from around the world participated. Thousands took to streets in several cities of Pakistan over the brutal murder and assault of the mother-daughter duo in Turbat.
What is Balochistan Crisis?
Balochistan, situated in the eastern flank of the Iranian peninsula, is almost equally divided between Iran and Pakistan, while some regions are in southern Afghanistan. The province is named after Baloch, the inhabitants of the region. The inhabitants are mostly Sunni Muslims who speak Balochi, an Iranian language.
The eastern half of the region came under the control of British India in the 1850s, while the western half remained under the Persian rule. The British and Persians formally demarcated the territory in 1871-1872. The British Indian part of Balochistan was absorbed by Pakistan after its creation in 1947.
Both halves of the divided Balochistan have faced constant turmoil. Iranians face issues as it is the Sunni majority region in a majority Shia country. In Pakistan, some sections of Balochs have launched an independence campaign as they assert that their territory was illegally occupied by Pakistan. A resistance movement has also emerged, as the region remains the poorest and least developed in the country, despite being the largest in size and richest in terms of natural resources.