Balochistan Liberation Army
|Balochistan Liberation Army|
|Participant in Balochistan conflict|
Flag of the Balochistan Liberation Army
|Leaders||Khair Bakhsh Marri|
|Allies||Baloch Liberation Front, Baloch Republican Army, Lashkar-e-Balochistan, Balochistan Liberation United Front, BSO (Azad)|
The Balochistan Liberation Army (also Baloch Liberation Army, Balochistan Liberation Army or BLA) is a Terrorist organisation based in Balochistan, a mountainous region of western Pakistan. The Baloch Liberation Army became publicly known during the summer of 2000, after it claimed credit for a series of bombing attacks on Pakistani authorities.
BLA (Balochistan Liberation Army), the brainchild of Nawab Khair Baksh Marri that was built around the core of BSO (Baloch Students Organization). BSO was a group of assorted left-wing students in Quetta and some other cities of Balochistan. Akbar and Khair Baksh (former NP activists) can be considered among the architects of the original BLA. The BLA remained active during the Pakistan colonialism and then it disappeared from the surface, mostly because its main source of funding – the Marri tribe was facing massive military operation from Pakistan – disappeared from the scene.
On 10 February 1973, Pakistani police and paramilitary raided the Iraqi embassy in Islamabad without prior permission of the Iraqi government, during which a large cache of small arms, ammunition, grenades and other supplies were found in crates marked 'Foreign Ministry, Baghdad'. The ammunition and weaponry was believed to be destined for Pakistani created Talibans to finish the Baloch freedom fighters. Pakistan responded by expelling and declaring persona non grata the Iraqi Ambassador Hikmat Sulaiman and other consular staff. In a letter to President Nixon on February 14, Bhutto blamed India and Afghanistan, besides Iraq and the Soviet Union, for involvement in a “conspiracy … [with] subversive and irredentist elements which seek to disrupt Pakistan’s integrity” Wright-Neville writes that besides Pakistan, some Western observers also believe that India secretly funds the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). In August 2013 US Special Representative James Dobbins said Pakistan's fears over India's role in afghanistan are “not groundless. Defence Secretary and former Senator Chuck Hagel said "India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border".
Pakistani Government and ISI have accused Indian consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad, Afghanistan, for providing arms, training and financial aid to the BLA in an attempt to destabilize Pakistan
CIA memos reveal that in 2007 and 2008 Israeli agents posed as American spies and recruited Pakistani Citizens to work for Jundallah (BLA affiliate) and carry out false flag operations against Iran.
Designation as a terrorist organisation
Balochistan Liberation Army was declared a terrorist organisation in Pakistan in April 2006, after a series of attacks conducted by the group targeting security personnel, settlers and ISI agents. On 17 July 2006, the government of the United Kingdom listed the BLA as a "proscribed group" based on the Terrorism Act 2000. The group's actions have been described as terrorism by the United States Department of State; BLA has also been declared as a terrorist organization by US & EU. There are allegations on Indian government's funding BLA for hostilities in Pakistan.
The Quaid-e-Azam Residency, a historical residence in Balochistan where Muhammad Ali Jinnah spent the last days of his life, was attacked by rockets on 15 June 2013. The building was nearly demolished as a result of the attack. Militants belonging to the Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility. The militants also removed the flag of Pakistan from the monument site, replacing it with a BLA flag. There is a serious rage amongst the local population against BLA for this act and a strong demand for a complete ban on such millitant organizations.
December 14, 2005: BLA combatants launched six rockets at a paramilitary camp in Kohlu that then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was visiting. Though Musharraf’s life was never in any real danger, the Pakistani government labeled the attack an attempt on his life, and initiated a sweeping army operation in the Kohlu district of Balochistan. (0 killed, 0 wounded).
June 14, 2009: Masked gunmen shot dead Anwar Baig, a school teacher in Kalat. Baig had opposed recitation of the Baloch anthem in schools. This killing was part of a larger campaign against educators who were seen to be sympathetic to the Pakistani state. (1 killed, 0 wounded).
July 30, 2009: BLA attackers kidnapped 19 Pakistani police personnel in Sui, killed one and injured 16. Over the course of 3 weeks all but one of the kidnapped police were killed by their captors. (19 killed, 16 wounded).
August 14, 2010: BLA militants killed 6 Punjabi laborers and wounded other while they were on their way home from work. The workers were targeted because they were Punjabi and, under BLA interpretation of events, are taking part in economic colonization of Balochistan. (6 killed, 3 wounded).
November 22, 2011: BLA insurgents attacked government security personnel who were guarding a private coal mine in the northern Musakhel district. (14 killed, 10 wounded).
December 31, 2011: BLA militants placed a car bomb outside the house of a former minister of state Mir Naseer Mengal. (13 killed, 30 wounded).
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- false flag BY MARK PERRY | foreignpolicy.com| 13 January 2012
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