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Pro-Indian BLA: Ethno-nationalist insurgents or terrorists?


News Analysis |

The ethnonational terrorist group Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has claimed the responsibility for the attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi. In a post on Twitter, the official page of BLA said,” Fidayeen of BLA attacked the Chinese embassy in Karachi.”

However, their account was suspended later on. A spokesman for the insurgent group reportedly made calls to media organizations claiming that all men who tried to enter the Chinese Consulate were BLA members.

Pakistan has come in the crosshairs of an Indian campaign which aims, if not to Balkanise it, to destabilize it to make it a weak and satellite state.

Earlier, multiple explosions were heard near Chinese Consulate in Karachi’s Clifton area on Friday early morning and were followed by gunshots. Three terrorists possessing hand grenades and other weapons tried to enter the consulate were killed by law enforcement agencies. BLA also released the picture of their terrorists who got killed in an exchange of fire with forces.

Read more: Bomb blast in Karachi: 5th generation warfare in full swing

According to sources, those who carried out the attack have been identified. The first attacker has been identified as Razzaq, a resident of Kharan. While the second attacker has been identified as Azal Khan Mari alias Sangat Dada, and the third attacker has been identified as Raees Baloch.

Who are the BLA?

The Militant organization BLA has been declared terrorist organization by Pakistan for waging the war against Pakistan and murdering innocent civilians. So far, the organization has carried 7 major attacks on government’s security personnel as well as civilians claiming hundreds of lives. In disguise of fighting for the rights of Baloch, BLA’s sole purpose has been the instability in the country.

Traditionally the target of BLA’s attacks have been the security officers, railroad link, gas pipelines, and CPEC developmental projects pipelines in Baluchistan using typical guerilla tactics. Karachi attack is a shift from the modus operandi of this insurgent group. It indicates that the BLA has learned a lot from TTP, ISIS etc, which is indeed dangerous for the state. It also affirms the fact that Pakistan is facing hybrid threats and that the aim of groups likes BLA is not the fight for rights but upheaval.

A spokesman for the insurgent group reportedly made calls to media organizations claiming that all men who tried to enter the Chinese Consulate were BLA members.

It indeed is what majority of analysts in Pakistan believe, is that the BLA is India’s proxy out to destabilize Pakistan, especially in terms of CPEC. The current attack on Chinese Consulate reflects the insecurity of enemies as they tried to malign the Pak-China relationship.

Read more: Blast in Hangu, at least 25 killed

India and the BLA

In September 2017, GVS had revealed that India spent Rs 7 billion to run an anti-Pakistan campaign in Geneva, Switzerland and that the campaign has originated from Canada. Additionally at the same time, the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) last year started getting anti-Pakistan articles published in Canadian newspapers.

In April 2018, the self proclaimed “Baloch” activist Ahmar Mastikhan revealed in his tweets that he had heckled the then Pakistani PM on the behest of Indian intelligence. He also revealed that RAW was instigating Balochistani Subnationalist groups like the BLA to target and kill Punjabi, Sindhi, and Pashtun civilians.

In his confession, Mustikhan named three Balochistan-based militant groups and asserted they received funds from India for militant activities. Among others, he also named the World Baloch Organisation (WBO) and Balochistan House which have been running poster campaigns against Pakistan in Geneva, London, Washington, and New York.

Read more: Terrorists meet their fate: Chinese Consulate declared secure

In his videos, Mr. Mustikhan, who is also a journalist, claimed that he was ‘let down’ by RAW operatives working from the Indian embassy in Washington adding that one of the operatives, Nagesh Bhushan managed RAW’s Balochistan Desk. The journalist said that India was stocking terrorism in Pakistan after the Kargil war.

He further claimed that Balochistan House was run by Mehran Baloch, a former unofficial representative of Balochistan at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The shocking disclosure came after the petition of AFB’s two Indian supporters — Soumya Chowd­hury and Krishna Gudipati — to silence Mustikhan was turned down.

The Militant organization BLA has been declared terrorist organization by Pakistan for waging the war against Pakistan and murdering innocent civilians.

Of course, India’s nexus with Subnationalist terror groups is incomplete without the mention of Kulbhushan Yadev. Yadev is a serving Indian military officer who was based in Chabahar Iran. He was captured by Pakistani authorities while trying to cross the Iran-Pakistan border in March 2016. He was arrested through a Counter Intelligence Operation from Mashkel, Baluchistan. The Indian government denies these claims.

During the trial proceedings, Yadhav confessed that RAW had tasked him to plan, coordinate and organize espionage and sabotage activities aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan. He was specifically assigned the job to impede the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Baluchistan and Karachi.

Read more: Terror hits Pakistan: Chinese Consulate attacked in Karachi

Moreover, in March 2017, in a video footage released, Indian spy admitted the involvement of India in terrorist activities in Baluchistan and revealed that he was the man behind various terrorist activities at the behest of RAW. In February this year, one of the reputed Indian magazines, Frontline [of well-known and credible media houses] has acknowledged that India is engaged in a covert war against Pakistan

Despite, New Delhi’s own numerous ethnic uprisings, across its territory, it continues to use terrorism and separatism as a means of power politics to attempt to mold the region in its image. Such attempts have accelerated in recent times owing to two major factors: the rise of the extremist thought Hindutva to power in India and the CPEC project in Pakistan.  India fears a stronger, stable and prosperous Pakistan, as this would stand in its way to be the regional hegemonic power in South Asia.

To this end, it needs to destroy CPEC and any ancillary benefits to the region. To do so it has decided to use both violent and nonviolent measures to destabilize Pakistan. Pakistan has come in the crosshairs of an Indian campaign which aims, if not to Balkanise it, to destabilize it to make it a weak and satellite state.

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