January 25, 2024

Baloch Yakjehti Committee, Balochistan Shuhada Forum (BSF)End Sit-in at Islamabad

During the recent week, Pakistan experienced a total of 12 militant attacks, resulting in
eight fatalities and 13 injuries. These attacks were distributed across different regions, with five
reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), four in Balochistan, two in erstwhile FATA, and one in
Sindh. In response, security forces conducted five operations, leading to the death of nine
militants and the apprehension of 19 others.

In preparation for the upcoming general elections on February 8, the caretaker federal
cabinet approved the deployment of armed forces and civil personnel at polling stations and
sensitive constituencies. The security measures were deemed necessary due to identified
sensitive polling stations, primarily based on potential clashes between political rivals rather than
direct threats of terrorism.

Amidst security concerns, intelligence reports prompted a heightened state of alert
across major cities in response to potential terrorist activities, including the imminent arrival of
17 suicide bombers associated with banned groups like the TTP. Section-144 was imposed in
Punjab, prohibiting the display of illegal weapons and aerial firing in anticipation of security
threats during the elections.

In Islamabad, the Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC), led by Dr. Mahrang Baloch, concluded
its month-long sit-in in front of the Islamabad Press Club. The BYC, advocating against enforced
disappearances, faced pressure from police and state institutions, leading to the decision to end
the protest. Concurrently, the rival camp of the Balochistan Shuhada Forum (BSF) also closed its
camp, announcing that a key demand to establish a judicial commission had been met.
The Supreme Court reserved judgment in the case of former Islamabad High Court judge
Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s removal, raising questions about due process followed by the Supreme
Judicial Council (SJC). The outcome of this case will impact judicial processes and may lead to a
potential reinstatement of the judge.

Concerns over tensions between Pakistan and Iran in the previous week, marked by
military actions, were alleviated as both nations expressed commitment to dialogue and
diplomatic solutions. Ambassadors of Pakistan and Iran are set to resume duties, indicating a
positive step towards restoring diplomatic relations. Additionally, the reopening of the Torkham
border between Pakistan and Afghanistan after a 10-day suspension facilitated the resumption
of trade, accompanied by discussions between Taliban representatives and Pakistani authorities.
In the realm of militant announcements, the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP)
released propaganda materials targeting the disruption of the election process in Pakistan,
criticizing democracy as un-Islamic. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) distanced itself from
activities at polling stations, advising civilians to avoid areas with a significant security force
presence. Both groups issued statements and videos expressing their perspectives on political
developments and condemning state actions.

To access the complete security assessment report
(19 – 25 Jan 2024)

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