Pakistan upset over News9 Plus expose on human rights violation in Balochistan

Pakistan upset over News9 Plus expose on human rights violation in Balochistan

News9 Plus released two part series Bangladesh 2.0 and Balochistan.

Mumbai: Reportedly the Pakistani government has taken to Twitter to express its displeasure with a News9 Plus expose on human rights violations in Balochistan.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) objected to the December 25, 2022, docu series, claiming that the story 'Balochistan: Bangladesh 2.0' violated Pakistani laws.

On February 5, Twitter contacted News9 Plus executive editor Aditya Raj Kaul, about the story. Kaul is the director of the docu series, for which a News9 Plus unit traversed Balochistan, overcoming obstacles posed by the Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps.

The two part series examines the rise in alleged state-sponsored Baloch killings. Strategic experts and geopolitical observers have dubbed the troubled province a "Second Bangladesh," a reference to East Pakistan, which declared independence in 1971.

The increase in violence is also attributed to Baloch rebels resentment of China's investment plans in the province. Beijing is increasing its investments in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which runs through the province. As Balochistan's resentment grows over the Chinese's rejection of locals, violent attacks on Chinese nationals have increased in recent years.

Kaul said, “We have been investigating the human rights abuse and persecution of the Baloch people by the Pakistan Army and the ISI. While reporting the story, we spoke to activists, journalists and common people across the province collecting primary evidence of the gruesome torture and its conversion into a virtual Chinese colony. Pakistan’s objection to our Balochistan series is an attack on freedom of expression and only vindicates the questions that we have raised.”

Twitter has rejected the Pakistan government's request to censor the News9 Plus story and upheld the right of journalists to express themselves freely on social media.

In October 2022, Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) formed a team to track down and apprehend social media voices and journalists, including Aditya Raj Kaul for News9 Plus's 'Intercontinental Terrorist' story on Mumbai 26/11 attacks mastermind and ISI asset Sajid Mir. Pakistan's efforts to silence international media only demonstrate Islamabad's desperation to conceal facts and keep Balochistan out of the spotlight.