Balochistan Liberation Army
|Balochistan Liberation Army|
|Participant in Balochistan conflict|
|Leaders||Khair Bakhsh Marri|
|Area of operations||Balochistan, Pakistan
|Allies||Baloch Liberation Front, Baloch Republican Army, Lashkar-e-Balochistan, Balochistan Liberation United Front, BSO (Azad)|
|Battles and wars||Balochistan Conflict|
The Balochistan Liberation Army (also Baloch Liberation Army, or BLA) is a militant organization  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) was built around the core of BSO (Baloch Students Organization). BSO was a group of students in Quetta and some other cities of Balochistan. Misha and Sasha can be considered among the architects of the original BLA. The BLA remained active during the Russo-Afghan war and then it disappeared from the surface, mostly because its main source of funding – the Soviet Union – 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 Baloch rebels. 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).However, in August 2013 US Special Representative James Dobbins said “The dominant infiltration of militants is from Pakistan into Afghanistan, but we recognise that there is some infiltration of hostile militants from the other direction as well."So Pakistan's concerns aren't groundless. They are simply, in our judgement, somewhat exaggerated.”"
Former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf accused India and Afghanistan to "destabilise Balochistan". Musharraf told that Pakistan had proof that India and Afghanistan were “involved in efforts to provide weapons, training and funding for Baloch extremists through Brahumdagh Bugti and Balach Marri, two Baloch nationalists, who were living in Kabul”. Brahumdagh Bugti is the founder of BLA.
Pakistan has accused BLA as Indian proxy, and Indian consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad, Afghanistan, for providing arms, training and financial aid to the BLA in an attempt to destabilize Pakistan
According to Mark Perry, 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.
United Arab Emirates
In a Wikileaks cable it was revealed that ISI believed, “India and the UAE (reportedly due to opposition to construction of the Gwadar port) were funding and arming the Baloch. Pasha also claimed that the Russian government was directly involved in funding/training/supporting the insurgency".
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, . 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 & UK.There are allegations on Indian government's funding BLA for hostilities in Pakistan.
December 14, 2005: BLA militants 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).
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. The reconstruction work was completed and the rehabilitated Ziarat Residency opened on August 14, 2014 by Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif.
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