Baloch separatist leader Dr Manan Baloch was murdered in a military operation early Saturday morning.
His four other companions were also killed when military attacked their hideout in Balochistan’s Mastung area.
Dr Manan was the General Secretary of the Baloch National Movement, a political group seeking independence from Pakistan. Although the BNM claims its struggle is peaceful, the Pakistan military has killed dozens of its leaders and activists, including its founding president Ghulam Mohammed Baloch, due to their separatist demand.
All BNM leaders now live in hiding due to the military’s ruthless crackdown on the party. Dr Manan was secretly staying at the house of two brothers – Ashraf and Haneef, who are also BNM members – in Mastung’s Kili Dattu village.
Two other party members Sajid and Babu Noroz, who were also staying there, were killed in the military raid. Young Sajid was a close relative to Dr Manan.
Dr Manan was born in 1968 in Mashkay and graduated from Bolan Medical College, Quetta, in 1999. He served as a medical officer in several areas, including Jahoo, Awaran, Greshag and Mashkay. In 2011, he resigned as a medical officer, refusing to be a Pakistan government employee.
He was elected as the BNM’s Secretary General – the second highest rank in the party after the Chairman – in 2010. In 2014’s council session, he was re-elected on the same position.
A soft-spoken man, he used to limp on one leg since a car accident in 2011.
The BNM has announced a protest call against the killing of its leader. Its international spokesman Hammal Haider Baloch said the party has decided to announce three-day strike in Balochistan and 40-day mourning period.
He said Dr Manan has been instrumental in organizing the party and furthering its cause. While condemning the the killings, he said the struggle for a separate Baloch homeland will continue despite all odds.
Dr Manan and Sajid will be buried later today in Mastung’s Kadh Koocha area near Sangat Sana, another Baloch separatist leader killed by the military in 2012.