• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Pakistani celebs express solidarity with Baloch protesters


Dec 29, 2023


Images of baton-charging and arrest of Baloch protesters prompted a wave of outrage after Baloch Yekjehti Committee (BYC) launched a long march from Turbat to the provincial capital against the officials of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) allegedly responsible for the extrajudicial killing of Balach Baloch.

After videos circulated by Baloch activists including Mahrang Baloch, a prominent member of the BYC, Islamabad police’s use of force to disperse and detain the demonstrators has drawn widespread condemnation from human rights organisations to celebrities. Joona singer Hasan Raheem took to microblogging platform X (formerly Twitter) with a series of posts to express his solidarity with Baloch protesters demanding justice.

“I plead with you to stand with the Baloch people and raise your voices together,” wrote Hasan in one post while in another the artist praised Mahrang, stating, “Good morning to Mahrang Baloch only. Real hero.”

In his recent post on X, the Wishes singer penned, “Our Baloch brothers and sisters need our support and empathy in this hour or else tomorrow this will be your voice and there will be no one to listen.” Fashion designer and actor Deepak Perwani also amplified the Baloch protests against the issue of missing persons, resharing videos with the hashtag ‘Baloch Genocide’.

In response to police aggression against protesters, Deepak remarked, “Unbelievable visuals this is what we are doing to our own people.” “Pakistan fix this, you are only strong with your own people,” implored the celeb in another post. Commenting on the many women and children facing the brunt of police brutality, actor and activist Armeena Khan compared the emerging visuals with that of Palestinian genocide.

“That’s absolutely disgusting! Women and children are not targets. Isn’t this what we keep telling Izziland (Israel)?” Armeena posed the question. Joining the horde of supporters, actor-comedian Osman Khalid Butt divulged how social exclusion in the national capital has increasingly become a common experience. “Each time I come to Islamabad, I feel increasingly isolated and abandoned – as if I am an alien, a terrorist, or an immigrant in my own country,” he responded in a quote reply to an X post on Baloch protests.

On Wednesday, BYC announced that people in Balochistan will stage demonstrations and strikes to protest against authorities’ highhandedness. “We doubt the government’s sincerity as its negotiation team, assigned by the premier for talks, has not reached out to us in the last two days,” stated a protest leader.

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