Protests erupt in Turbat after ‘extrajudicial killings’

Protests erupt in Turbat after ‘extrajudicial killings’
Photo Source: Asad Baloch


Eleni Patlaka

Pakistan Researcher,

Global Human Rights Defence

In Turbat, Baluchistan, a controversial incident involving the arrest and execution of four men by the Counterterrorism Department (CTD) caused widespread protests and a complete shutdown of the city (Shahid, 2023). 

The CTD killed the men in an operation near the bus terminal, claiming they were members of a terrorist organization. The family of one of the victims, Balaach Mola Bakhsh, disputes this, claiming that Bakhsh had been in custody since October and was killed by unclear causes (Shahid, 2023). 

The victim's family along with activists and locals launched demonstrations in the city and a sit-in, which culminated Saturday with a rally outside the sessions court. The protesters' main demand is a judicial investigation into the incident, as well as the arrest of CTD officials (Baloch, 2023). 

The incident has garnered the attention of human rights organizations, with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) strongly condemning extrajudicial killings by law enforcement authorities. HRCP notes an alarming trend of violent kidnappings and extrajudicial executions in Baluchistan, particularly after the launch of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. Furthermore, in response to the incident, a judge at Turbat sessions ordered an account of the incident via the recording First Information Report (FIR). Similarly, former Senator Haji Lashkari Raisani is calling for the creation of a Judiciary Committee, which will examine the incident thoroughly and impartially (Baloch, 2023).

Sources and further reading: 

Baloch, B. (2023). Judge orders police to register FIR of Turbat ‘encounter’. [online] DAWN.COM. Available at: [Accessed 27 Nov. 2023].

Shahid, S. (2023). Sit-in over CTD ‘killings’ continues in Turbat. [online] DAWN.COM. Available at: [Accessed 27 Nov. 2023].