The disturbing news of a Frontier Corps (FC) soldier sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy in Hoshap, District Kech, on Wednesday has drawn condemnation and shock from people in Balochistan and beyond over the often-unreported repressive conduct of the security forces in the region.
According to initial gatherings, the young boy was raped by an on-duty soldier on Wednesday and was taken to Turbat hospital by the family right after the incident. Angry locals had blocked off the main road in protest to demand justice for the victim and the family.
Balochistan has seen growing numbers of serious law infringements in recent months involving Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps that is often accused of human rights violations and abductions by activists and media alike.
The incident in Hoshap happened when a FC soldier on guard asked the young boy to get him a few things from the local market. On his return, the soldier attacked the boy covering his mouth and didn’t leave until he was done sexually assaulting the victim. The traumatized boy then ran for help to his family.
The medical report issued by Teaching Hospital Turbat showed no injury, however, the victim’s brother insists the assault did happen.
According to the victim’s brother, the boy was made to identify the soldier in a parade and was told appropriate action would be taken against the assaulter. Speaking with Balochistan Times, a local in Hoshap said the FC officials seemed to be rushing the case to avoid public attention and there were talks of bribing the family to stop them from pursuing legal action against the crime.
Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Defence Production Zobaida Jalal tweeted her sadness over the incident but was quickly stormed by some Twitter users reminding her of the inaction in previous events of criminal accusations involving the Frontier Corps and the state agencies.
Ms. Jalal is a frequent intervener in publicly backing the Army’s position in cases where they are seen involved in crimes against the locals.
In May last year, the FC was involved in the brutal killing of a university student Hayat Baloch in front of his parents in Turbat. Activists had called for an end to sweeping powers of the Frontier Corps and a complete withdrawal of army checkpoints.
Back in Hoshap, the family remains in shock and horror for what happened to their child. Following closely on the matter, journalist Kiyya Baloch tweeted parts of victim’s brother’s statement; “We found semen on my brother’s clothes.”
(The boy’s identification has been withheld to protect privacy)