NEW DELHI: Pakistani forces have launched a fresh wave of military operations across the restive Balochistan province. An activist for a prominent Baloch political outfit has said even civilians have been attacked and abducted in the ongoing operations, and has called on the international community to take steps to stop Islamabad's human rights abuses in Balochistan.
"In many parts of Nasirabad District (of Balochistan province), Pak forces have carried out attacks. Baloch civilians have been harassed and many have been abducted," said Abdul Nawaz Bugti, Baloch Republican Party's representative at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
"In different parts of Dera Bugti, Baloch civil populace have been attacked and more than 19 Baloch civilians, including women and children, all belonging to same family have been abducted," Bugti told news agency ANI in a video message.
He also said Pakistani security personnel were practically laying siege to the house of a political worker in the Turbat area for four days. "His family, mostly women and children, is starving and Pakistani forces have denied access to them," Bugti said.
He had earlier tweeted that Pakistani forces use such tactics to compel Baloch political activists who have gone underground to resurface. They are then abducted, tortured or killed, he alleged.
"It is the time that international media raises their voices and helps save baloch from the inhuman atrocities committed by Pakistani forces on a daily basis in Balochistan," he added.
Abdul Nawaz Bugti's Twitter timeline is filled with tweets that are updates of the actions of Pakistani security personnel in Balochistan.
Also on his timeline are discussions on whether the fresh wave of military operations against Baloch people is a result of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mention of Pakistan's human rights abuses in Balochistan
When questioned by some on whether PM Modi's mention of Balochistan has had a negative effect on Baloch people, Bugti tweeted, "It hasn't. Pakistani atrocities have always been there. The positive thing now is that the world knows about them"
PM Modi, in his Independence Day speech, had crossed a major threshold by mentioning Balochistan. He had said if Islamabad continued to arm and encourage violence in Kashmir, New Delhi would be forced to highlight its human rights abuses in Balochistan.
PM Modi's statement had been widely welcomed by Baloch political outfits and activists, some of whom even called on India to intervene militarily in their conflict with Islamabad.
PM Modi's mention of Balochistan had shaken the establishment in Islamabad, which has for long spread propaganda that the Baloch struggle for a separate homeland was funded and backed by India's Research & Analysis Wing (RAW). India however has denied these allegations for decades and has even avoided commenting on the issue.
But given Islamabad's continuing meddling in Kashmir, PM Modi took the battle to Pakistan.