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Saturday, July 20, 2024

BNA Commander Surrenders, Alleges Indian Funding for Violence

BNA commander and associates surrender, exposing Indian funding, as integration strategy signals hope for lasting peace in Balochistan.

Sarfraz Bangulzai, a prominent commander of the banned militant group Baloch National Army (BNA), announced his surrender along with 70 associates. Addressing a press conference in Quetta, Bangulzai accused India of funding violence in Balochistan and manipulating the region’s youth through exploiting women.

Bangulzai emphasized that the blood of Baloch people was being shed for personal interests, with innocent lives lost due to resistance against extortion. The former BNA commander disclosed instances of Indian funding of terrorism in Balochistan and highlighted the comfortable lives led by so-called Baloch leaders abroad while their people suffered.

Violence and Extremism

Bangulzai revealed that he had been part of the militant movement for 15 years, expressing regret for his actions. He cited witnessing India’s involvement in funding terrorism during his time in Afghanistan, leading to his decision to disassociate from the BNA.

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The surrender comes after the arrest of BNA founder Gulzar Imam Shambay in April, resulting in a significant reduction in BNA attacks. Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar welcomed the development, emphasizing the government’s commitment to peace and stability. He acknowledged the efforts of law enforcement agencies, particularly the ISI, in planning and executing the clandestine operation.

 External Influences

During the press conference, Jan Achakzai, Balochistan Caretaker Information Minister, stressed the need to bridge misunderstandings and gaps. He called for the inclusion of disgruntled Baloch individuals into the national mainstream. Achakzai raised concerns about India’s alleged attempts to exacerbate the situation in Balochistan and attributed the region’s destruction to external adversaries.

The surrender of Bangulzai, the second-in-command of Shambay, practically marks the end of BNA’s influence on the ground, significantly impacting the reduction of militancy. The surrendered militants are expected to be absorbed into society, following a strategy successfully implemented in the past.

Political leaders, including caretaker Prime Minister Kakar and PML-N’s Shehbaz Sharif, welcomed the surrender as a positive step towards peace in Balochistan. Kakar commended the law enforcement and intelligence agencies, particularly the ISI, for their role in the operation.