Bloodshed and Violence: Taking stock of the 2022 annual report of the Balochistan Liberation Army(two)

Bloodshed and Violence: Taking stock of the 2022 annual report of the Balochistan Liberation Army(two)

Baloch Liberation Army Propaganda Activity Updates

The Main Propaganda Methods and Contents of the BLA

BLA’s current publicity methods are mainly divided into two types, one is direct publicity through its “official channels” and the other is indirect publicity through large online network news media. The “official channel” of the BLA refers to a series of propaganda accounts opened by the BLA armed forces on social media such as Twitter, Telegram group, and Facebook.

The promotional content of the BLA’s official account includes the claim of the attack, the disclosure of the attack/battle results, the obituary or mourning of the dead on one’s own side, nationalist propaganda or songs, battle videos, political declarations, etc., which are full of emotional content. A revolutionary narrative approach to nationalist narrative ideas and passions. The official propaganda account of BLA (Basheer Zeb faction) often has several names. Its original name was “Hakkal Media”. After the account was banned by various platforms, BLA continued to speak out through its backup account “Sagaar Media”. In addition, the Azad faction in the liberation has another Telegram group account “Voice of the Balochistan”.

Compared with the Islamic State, due to insufficient human resources and funds, the small-scale BLA cannot have its own large-scale online network news media. The Sagaar media under the control of the Basheer Zeb faction currently has about 16,200 followers on the Telegram group, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, and the “Voice of the Balochistan” of the Azad faction has about 1,770 followers.

Sagaar Media_1 telegram group

However, pro-Balochistan nationalists can still spread their nationalist ideas through large online news outlets, typified by the Balochistan Post and Balochistan Times. Times) and “Balochwarna News Network”, etc. The Baluch Post is the most influential pro-Baluch news website, it is mainly funded by overseas Balochi expatriates with nationalist tendencies, and consists of a group of journalists, web designers, social activists and The writer runs the operation and owns the local network of informants in Balochistan. The Baluchistan Post has news reports in four languages: English, Urdu, Baluchi and Brawi. , World News, etc. The Baloch Post has a total of about 91,600 followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube.

Account nameAccount contentLanguage using
The Balochistan PostMain account Urdu
The Balochistan Post – EnglishEnglish accountEnglish
The Balochistan Post – BalochiBalochi accountUrdu
The Balochistan Post – BrahuiBrahui account Brahui
List of balochistan post twitter accounts

The Balochi Times is less influential and less professional, its reporting is in English and Balochi, and the languages are not differentiated on the page. The channel section of the Balochistan Times is similar to that of the Balochistan post, divided into local news express, opinion columns, special reports, nationalist literature, etc. The Baloch Times has a total of about 54,500 followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Balochwarna News Network is a news website reporting in English and Urdu. It is operated by Baloch diaspora living in the UK. Its channel section is also similar to the Baloch Times and Post. Balochwarna News Network has about 34,500 followers on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram.

In addition to large online news sites, there are also some smaller blog sites that promote Balochistan separatism. Some sites are directly operated by the Liberation Army and are official blog versions of the Liberation Army, such as the Sagaar media network. Baluch Sarmachar, another smaller blogging site, is dedicated to disseminating the manifestos of various Baluch armed groups. It is very radical and has about 6,300 followers on Twitter and Youtube.

The list of members of the BLA killed in action disclosed in the propaganda

After investigating the list of members killed in action disclosed by the accounts of Hakkal Media, Sagaar Media, and the Voice of the Balochistan Nationality in 2022, the official announcement of the BalochLiberation Army did not always indicate when the member was killed in action when disclosing the list of killed in action, and it may be disclosed Most of the casualties had already died in previous years’ fighting. In 2022, a total of 109 soldiers will be killed in the official announcement of the liberation, of which 100 are from the Basheer Zeb faction and 9 are from the Azad faction. Among the 109 members killed in action, at least 11 were commanders, and at least 28 were killed in previous years. According to the report of the Balochistan Post, a total of 35 people were killed in action in 2022 (a total of 92 people were killed by all Balochistan separatist armed forces). The loss is slightly higher, with a total of 116 people killed in action. The annual report of the Baloch Liberation Army advertises that the organization will kill 35 people in 2022.

List of dead members of the Baloch Liberation Army,
Red is the commander, yellow is the confirmed dead in previous years

The following are several conflicts in which the official announcement of the liberation can confirm the loss of its personnel. In the battle of Panjgur&Noshki in early February 2022, 9 members of the BLA were killed; in February, the Pakistani army used CH-4 drones to launch an air strike on the Makran area, and 10 members of the BLA were killed; in early November, the Pakistani military Suppressed the Bolan area, and three members of the Liberation Army were killed in the exchange of fire; on November 26, the Pakistani military used Iranian-made suicide drones to attack the camp of the Liberation Army in the Siakoh area, killing eight members of the Liberation Army; In December, the Pakistani military and the BLA fought in the Kolwa area, and 11 BLA members were killed.

In the 2022 annual report of the Balochistan Liberation Army, the organization announced the list of 35 dead members

In addition, several Baluchistan Liberation Army commanders were assassinated in Iran and Afghanistan. On January 22, Razzaq Mandali alias, who had gone to Afghanistan for seven years as a refugee because of his participation in the Baloch political movement, was assassinated in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Pro-Balochi sources believe that the assassination was carried out by the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency.

Razzaq Mandali alias

On January 26, Baluchistan Liberation Army commander Khuda Baksh alias Kamash was assassinated by unknown gunmen in the Pishin region of Iran.

Khuda Baksh alias Kamash

Balochistan Post’s propaganda about separatist forces such as BLA

Compared with the official media of the liberation, the Baloch Post is a little more calm and objective in the narrative of news reports, but maintains an attitude that is biased towards Baloch nationalism. Some editorial articles with strong views in the Baluchistan Post have a strong separatist tendency and are not neutral. For example, a special report praising “General Aslam” in February 2020 was full of The whitewashing and admiration of the previous leader of the Liberation Army, Aslam Balochistan.

In January 2023, the Baluchistan Post launched a special news article about the change in the situation of the Balochistan movement. For the sake of the “resistance movement”, the BLA members are referred to as “freedom fighters”, and some unreliable claims of the BLA (such as the shooting down of the helicopter in August) are described as objective facts without question. On January 3, 2023, the Balochistan Post launched a year-end summary of the conflict in 2022. In this summary, the Post exaggerated the results of the BLA and other organizations, unilaterally citing the claim that the Balochistan armed forces “killed more than 800 enemies” (including civilians). According to the statistics of the neutral SATP, 202 security forces and 88 civilians were killed in the conflict. Obviously, armed forces such as the BLA have exaggerated the facts. Also, as mentioned above, the Balochistan Post suppressed the losses of armed forces such as the BLA.

2022 Violence Summary Report Launched by Balochistan Post

In other reports of the Baluchistan Post, it reflects the failure of the Pakistani government’s governance by describing the poverty, disasters, and high crime rate in the Balochistan region. During the Gwadar protests, the Post criticized the Pakistani government’s oppression of “Baluchi human rights” in Gwadar by citing Amnesty International and other organizations. In addition, similar to other social activists in the Baluchistan region, the Post has repeatedly accused the Pakistani government of causing “enforced disappearances and executions” in the region.

The main features of the propaganda of the Balochistan Liberation Organization

As shown in the figure below, in 2021, there will be little ups and downs in the propaganda of the liberation, most of which will be at the level of 20-40, mainly after the attack on Chinese targets in Gwadar Port in August. The frequency has increased. In February 2022, with the battle of Panjgur & Noshki, the frequency of the publicity of the solution suddenly increased, reaching 150. At that time, the propaganda media of the liberation organization took advantage of the slow release of information by the Pakistani national media, and preemptively released a large number of videos, audios and news about the actual battle and details on the social network. Due to the lack of information from the official and authoritative media, the liberation organization The word successfully spread on social media.

The Balochistan official announced the frequency of activities of “Hakkal Media” on the telegram group. Every post is recorded as an activity, and the time is from January 2021 to April 2022. Red: picture, blue: sound, orange: manifesto, indigo: video.

The picture below shows the changes in the propaganda frequency of the BLA in the second half of 2022. It comes from the statistics of the Sagaar media on the telegram group and the voice of the Balochistan . After the Hakkal media was banned, the BLA created a new Sagaar media. In the third quarter, the activity frequency of Sagaar media was not very high, at the level of 30-60 articles. In October, the BLA held the “Martyr’s Day” commemorative event, and the frequency of Sagaar media activities began to increase. In November, the Pakistani military and the BLA fought in the Bolan area, and in December in the Kolwa area. In these two months, the BLA’s propaganda frequency remained high. In the fourth quarter, the BLA’s propaganda media activity frequency was 80 above. In general, the propaganda intensity of the BLA in 2022 will be significantly higher than that in 2021.

In the second half of 2022, the change of BLA’s publicity frequency

In order to avoid the ban on social networking platforms, in 2022, BLA Propaganda Department has come up with a variety of strategies to deal with this problem. In addition to changing the name, it also includes transferring publicity channels, opening multiple accounts on multiple platforms, and keeping small accounts for backup at any time. The few new accounts opened by BLA don’t have many followers, but the frequency of publicity is still high, which can attract a group of hardliners. The BLA now mainly focuses on YouTube users. Its account “Sagaar Baloch” on YouTube evades censorship by releasing some soft propaganda videos with low levels of violence, and now has 14,700 subscribers. Sometimes, in order to prevent censorship, BLA propaganda department will not directly publish the video, but will leave a video link of a Russian video website in the post on the official social platform, and let its followers click to watch.

Bloodshed and Violence: Taking stock of the 2022 annual report of the Balochistan Liberation Army(two)

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