Baloch rebels target death squad-kill chief of the Pak sponsored unit


By Mrityunjoy Kumar Jha

New Delhi, Mar 2: Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) has claimed that their Special Tactical Operations Squad (STOS) has finally killed Habib Shah, the chief of the Pakistani army sponsored death squad on February 28. Sharing the details and pictures of their operations, the rebels said in a Twitter post that "the STOS fighters targeted the vehicle of Habeeb Shah near Shakir Hotel in Hub in Balochistan killing the dreaded chief and injuring his bodyguards."

Habeeb Shah was also a local leader of Balochistan Awami Party, the governing party of the province. He was leading an armed group under the patronage of Pakistani intelligence services - locally known as "eath squads".

According to Baloch rebels, Habib Shah's militia had abducted two Baloch youths from Panjgur after the attack on a Pakistani military camp last month. Since then there was no news about them.

"Habib Shah abandoned the Baloch freedom struggle and surrendered before the enemy forces in 2016. Since then he was heading a death squad in Kalat under the patronage of Zia Langove," BLA said in the statement adding that "BLA's operations against occupying forces and its agents will continue."

This is major success for the pro-independence group that had carried out twin deadly attacks on the camps of the Pakistani security forces early last month apparently killing scores of soldiers. Since then, the Baloch militants have intensified their attacks in the restive province of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani army and its agencies too have unleashed their death squads which have started killing and abducting people across Balochistan in a crackdown to avenge attacks.

While, the world has turned a deaf ear to the enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings of Baloch nationalists, the Pakistan Army has outsourced the targeting and killing of Baloch activists, pro-independence leaders and workers to private 'death squads' - militia of local goons and convicted criminals who allegedly operate at the behest of the Army, to counter the ongoing Baloch insurgency. These groups often accompany the Army in raids on the houses of political activists, dissidents and pro-independence leaders.

"Since 2010, the Frontier Corps (the Pakistani army's corps stationed in Balochistan), along with other paramilitary forces have been sponsoring private militias in south-western districts of the province in response to a rapidly rising Baloch nationalist insurgency there," says the South Asia Press which has done in depth investigative reporting on these death squads.

"The majority of such militias are run by hardcore criminals and drug lords, while a few of them are also led by extremists, pro Pakistan politicians, and former separatist insurgents who have surrendered to authorities under reconciliation schemes in the recent past," says the exclusive report.

Their primary goal is prying on Baloch political activists especially the pro-independence leaders and denouncing them to the military or target to kill them.

According to intelligence reports, the Pakistani spy agency Inter State Intelligence (ISI) have been using the terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Ahrar-ul-Hind for killing of Baloch rebel leaders.

"Pakistani state has been startled by the widespread popularity and positive reception of the peaceful struggle in Balochistan. In its desperate attempts to quell the struggle, the state formed these inhumane, bloodthirsty 'death squads' and gave them a free hand to operate throughout Balochistan. These groups are directly or indirectly involved in the enforced disappearance and liquidation of student leaders, journalists, rights activists and political workers," says another report by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP).

Not surprisingly, Baloch groups have also targeted death squad members as well. At least seven of these have been killed in 2021.

 

  

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Title: Baloch rebels target death squad-kill chief of the Pak sponsored unit



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