Issue :   
August 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.          August 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:June' 2019


Nationalists unfazed

RC Ganjoo

T he United State, on July 2, 2019, designated the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) as a terror organisation. A question is being raised as to why the US suddenly took this drastic action.
BLA separatists are challenging the writ of the state of Pakistan and demanding a bigger share in Balochistan’s wealth from natural resources. The activists of BLA argue that the Pakistani military establishment has been abducting and killing Baloch people who attempt to raise their voice against enforced disappearances and worsening human rights violations.
According to Atta Baloch, social media manager, based in Germany, the Pakistan Army has started releasing some abducted Baloch persons but abducting more people. They continue their military operations in different parts of Balochistan.

Human rights activists from various Baloch organisations have been continuing their campaigns around the world to highlight the worsening human rights situation in Pakistan.

BLA is not the only armed separatist group currently operating in Balochistan. Several other groups are also targeting Pakistan’s security forces and developmental projects in a bid to create an independent Balochistan. But BLA is the oldest and most well-known armed group operating in Balochistan. Its name has now become synonymous with the separatist movement.

Since 2000 it has conducted numerous deadly attacks on Pakistani troops, police, and civilians. Other separatist groups include Lashkar-eBalochistan and the Baloch Liberation United Front (BLUF). BLA has about 6,000 cadre spread across the Balochistan Province and in the bordering areas of Afghanistan. In the seven decades of the Baloch movement, the BLA has survived the longest.

It is borne out of the tradition of armed militants who were earlier indirectly supported by the Marri, Bugti, Mengal and other clans or sardars. The Baloch movement was influenced by the Soviet Union and radical Marxist ideology in the past and some of their leaders were trained by Moscow.

Pakistan deployed a total of 17,177 security personnel from the Army and other security forces to ensure the security of Chinese nationals. In the years since, Gwadar has become a military cantonment.

While several over- ground Baloch leaders are sympathetic to the organisation, they do not flaunt ties with the organisation.

Immediately after the US ban on BLA ,in Germany the Baloch Republican Party's (BRP) unit organised a demonstration to highlight the incidents of enforced disappearances and human rights violations against Baloch people in Balochistan.

Most of the prominent Baloch leaders, who preach or support the notion of an independent Balochistan movement, have never publicly associated themselves with BLA.

Not a single Baloch nationalist leader currently resides in the US. Most of them are in exile in Europe. The US has never been a base for the Baloch separatist movement . It only serves as a country from where relatives of missing individuals hold protests and lodge complaints about the human rights violations in Balochistan.