Excessive force in Quetta.

ON Wednesday, videos of the police baton-charging unarmed protesters near the Balochistan Assembly in Quetta began circulating on social media. The protestors - men and women, old and young alike - were employees and students at the Bolan Medical College and the All Pakistan Clerks Association. These citizens were simply exercising their right to peaceful protest and for a chance to be heard by the powers-that-be who could bring change to their lives. After all, 'change' was this government's motto - not shielding themselves from the words of the very constituents whose votes they needed to come into power.

A protest is simply the manifestation of a people's grievance and desire to be heard. It is very much part and parcel of a culture of healthy debate, human rights and tolerance. And as long as it adheres to constitutional guidelines, it should be welcomed - or tolerated, at the very least. Instead of listening to their grievances, however, we once again witnessed the heavy-handedness and overreaction of state authorities towards a peaceful gathering...

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