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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Pakistan welcomes America’s decision to declare Indian-backed BLA a terrorist organization

In a groundbreaking diplomatic breakthrough, the United States (US) on Monday listed the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) to Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) organizations. The listing was made at the official site of US Department of Treasury.

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Interestingly, the development comes well ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the US, to pave the way for further galvanizing the two countries that have witnessed bilateral relations souring since 2011. It was being speculated that Prime Minster Imran Khan might be able to offer something big and reliable to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two states. 

BLA: a historical background 

BLA is a Baloch separatist organization based in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. It became publicly notorious during the summer of 2000 after it claimed credit for a series of bombing attacks on Pakistani authorities. It has been claimed that Brahumdagh Bugti is one of the founders of the BLA.

Since 2004, the BLA has waged a limited war against the state. Operating mainly in Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan, where it carries out attacks against the Pakistan Armed Forces. Pakistan believes that the BLA is an Indian proxy, and blames Indian consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad, Afghanistan, for providing arms, training and financial aid to the BLA in an attempt to destabilize Pakistan.

The development comes well ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the US, to pave the way for further galvanizing the two countries that have witnessed bilateral relations souring since 2011.

Pakistan had designated the BLA as a terrorist organization on April 7, 2006, after the group conducted a series of attacks targeting security personnel. India, a silent backer of the group, was not happy and started propagating against Pakistan for banning a pro-India terrorist organization. 

On July 17, 2006, the British government followed suit, listing the BLA as a “proscribed group” based on the Terrorism Act 2000, although the UK has harbored Hyrbyair Marri, leader of the BLA, as a refugee, something former army chief General (r) Raheel Sharif had protested against. The group’s actions have been described as terrorism by the United States Department of State and European Union too.

However, the new listing of BLA to SDGT has put sanctions on the funding and movement of the terrorists affiliated with the BLA which of late has targeted several Chinese installations and Chinese nationals working on projects linked to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This is a major breakthrough for China as well.

Read more: American tourists slams media for negative portrayal of Pakistan

China was facing many challenges in Balochistan, where terrorists targeted not only their officials but also common people. After the death of Aslam Baloch, alias Achu, in Kandahar, who claimed several attacks against Chinese nationals in Balochistan, the Afghan officials claimed that the Afghan police Chief Abdul Raziq Achakzai had housed Aslam Baloch and other separatists in Kandahar for years.

Pakistan believes that it is a major breakthrough which has confirmed Pakistan in having a say in the international affairs. Mona Alam, the prominent anchorperson, says that “Big diplomatic setback for #India as #America declares Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) a #terrorist organisation In recent times the organisation has been accused of masterminding in Chinese Consulate Attack in #Karachi & racial/sectarian killings in #Balochistan

Senator Sarfraz Bugti also appreciated the development and stated “Congratulations people of #Balochistan finally @USTreasury declared Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) a Terrorist organisation. It’s high time US should also take action against BRA Terrorist Brahamdag Bugti who is living #Switzerland after changing his appearance. @HofSwitzerland

Moreover, it has also silenced the Indian propaganda against Pakistan while exaggerating the case of Balochistan. The BLA has been the face of Indian intelligence agency and other anti-Pakistani elements for last many years. The USA has finally decided to recognize the stance of Pakistan and labelled the terrorist organization what should have been called years ago.