The Pak Army’s notorious Frontier Corps (FC) opened indiscriminate fire on peaceful protesters in Chaman, further exposing the oppressive regime’s iron-fisted approach towards dissent and the blatant disregard for human rights.

The protesters who comprised of locals from the Pashtun community, had been staging a sit-in for the past seven months to voice their opposition to Islamabad’s draconian “one document regime.” This policy, which mandates passports for cross-border travel, has disrupted the age-old familial and trade ties between Pashtuns living on both sides of the contentious Durand Line.

What began as a legitimate expression of grievances against an unjust policy quickly turned into a scene of chaos and violence as the FC forces resorted to excessive force, firing directly at the demonstrators. With stones and empty bottles being met with a hail of bullets from the heavily armed Pak troops.

With mobile networks shut down in a desperate attempt by the occupying forces to suppress the flow of information and stifle voices of dissent. Furthermore, organizers of the sit-in protest were arrested under the guise of negotiations during the night, only for the remaining demonstrators to face a brutal crackdown the following morning.

This latest incident is a stark reminder of the systematic oppression and human rights violations perpetrated by the Pak Army in the regions inhabited by ethnic minorities. The decision to impose the “one document regime” itself was a knee-jerk reaction to strained relations between Islamabad and the Afghan Taliban, yet it is the innocent Pashtun population that bears the brunt of this oppressive policy.

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