Evidence has emerged that shows there have been military raids in the Kolwah area of Balochistan, proving media reports to be true despite the claim by a minister that no such action was taking place in the area.
Local sources have told Balochistan Times that Frontier Corps soldiers have been conducting searches in most of the villages and burned down half a dozen of them. “Ganj Baksh Bazar, Zero Bazar, and Bashsham Bazar were almost completely set ablaze,” a local resident said on condition of anonymity. “Dozens of people were abducted.”
Another resident of the area also sent a video in which the smoke from the burning huts can be seen from afar.
There were first reports of the raids a couple of days ago that the Frontier Corps was burning down villages and abducting people in the area, but Zahoor Buledi, Minister for Finance Balochistan, was quick to respond that the reports were untrue. “Kolwah is in my constituency. I’m not aware of (any raid),” he tweeted.
“Waja Zahoor Buledi, Kolwah is my birthplace. Pakistan military has burned down three villages in Bloor and Segak and abducted several civilians,” wrote prominent rights activist Lateef Johar in reply to the minister.
Activist Jamal Baloch posted a video of a man from the minister’s constituency who was not too happy with the minister’s work. “See for yourself, Mr Zahoor Buledi, the people think you’re dishonest and corrupt,” he tweeted with the video.
The Human Rights Council of Balochistan has also corroborated media reports that there has in fact been military action in the area. “The Pakistani army has burned down villages in Kolwah and abducted dozens of people,” they wrote today. Their report of the incidents gives a list of the people who were picked up and the villages that were targeted.
“The Pakistani government should have been more worried about providing drinking water and basic health facilities to the people of Balochistan rather than pushing the people towards endless hatred and armed conflict,” the report concluded.