Balochistan Liberation Army

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Balochistan Liberation Army
Participant in Balochistan conflict
Flag of the Balochistan Liberation Army
Ideology Baloch nationalism

Lalit Baloch[1] Khair Bakhsh Marri[2]

Hyrbyair Marri
Area of operations Balochistan, Pakistan
Strength 10,000[4]
Allies Baloch Liberation Front, Baloch Republican Army, Lashkar-e-Balochistan, Balochistan Liberation United Front, BSO (Azad)
Opponents  Pakistan
Battles and wars Balochistan Conflict

The Balochistan Liberation Army (also Baloch Liberation Army, or BLA) is a militant organization [6][7][8] 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.[9][10]

The group is currently headed by Hyrbyair Marri and has an estimated strength of 10,000 members.[11]


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.[12] 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.[13]

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”[14][15] Wright-Neville writes that besides Pakistan, some Western observers also believe that India secretly funds the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).[16]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.”"[17]

Foreign Involvement[edit]


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[18][19]


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.[20]

United Arab Emirates[edit]

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".[21]

Designation as a terrorist organisation[edit]

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, .[3] On 17 July 2006, the government of the United Kingdom listed the BLA as a "proscribed group" based on the Terrorism Act 2000.[22] The group's actions have been described as terrorism by the United States Department of State;[23] BLA has also been declared as a terrorist organization by the UK.[8]There are allegations on Indian government's funding BLA for hostilities in Pakistan.[24]

Claimed attacks[edit]

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).[25]

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).[26]

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).[27]

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).[28]

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).

Quaid-e-Azam Residency[edit]

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.[10] The reconstruction work was completed and the rehabilitated Ziarat Residency opened on August 14, 2014 by Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif.[29]


  1. ^ "Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri | Baloch Leader @ Pakistan Herald". Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  2. ^ Cyril Almeida (2010-07-25). "All Baloch shouldn't be tarred with same brush". Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  3. ^ a b "Balochistan Liberation Army". Violent Extremism Knowledge Base. Institute for the Study of Violent Groups. 
  4. ^ Krishna, Maloy (10 August 2009). "Balochistan: Cruces of History- Part II". Maloy Krishna Dhar. Retrieved 21 December 2010. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "List of banned organisations in Pakistan". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "List of Terrorist Organisations Proscribed by the British Home Office – markulyseas - My Telegraph". markulyseas - My Telegraph. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Terrorist Organization Profile - START - National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism". Archived from the original on 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  9. ^ Butt, Qaiser (1947-08-14). "Heritage under attack: PkMAP says it views Ziarat Residency as a ‘symbol of slavery’ – The Express Tribune". Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  10. ^ a b Reuters. "BLA claims attack on Jinnah residency in Ziarat – The Express Tribune". Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  11. ^ Krishna, Maloy (10 August 2009). "Balochistan: Cruces of History- Part II". Maloy Krishna Dhar. Retrieved 21 December 2010. 
  12. ^ "[Archive Material] Pakistan: Unveiling the Mystery of Balochistan Insurgency — Part Two". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  13. ^ Williams, Kristen P. (2001). Despite Nationalist Conflicts: Theory and Practice of Maintaining World Peace. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-96934-7. 
  14. ^ "The Friday Times:Caught! (But what?) by Shahid Saeed". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  15. ^ Baluch, Ahmad K. Inside Baluchistan, a Political Authorbiography by Mir Ahmad Khan Baluch. 
  16. ^ David Wright-Neville (11 May 2010). Dictionary of Terrorism (1st ed.). Polity. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-0745643021. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  17. ^ APP. "US acknowledges Pakistan’s fears of Indian presence in Afghanistan". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  18. ^ MPs told Russia, India and UAE involved in Baloch insurgency – The Express Tribune
  19. ^ | 'RAW Is Training 600 Balochis In Afghanistan'
  20. ^ false flag Mark Perry || 13 January 2012
  21. ^ "MPs told Russia, India and UAE involved in Baloch insurgency". The Express Tribune. December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2014. 
  22. ^ Richard Ford (18 July 2006). "Militant Islamist groups banned under terror law". The Times. 
  23. ^ "Chapter 2 -- Country Reports: South and Central Asia Overview". Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. April 30, 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. 
  24. ^ "India backing Balochistan Liberation Army: Rehman Malik". Asian Tribune. 2009-04-23. Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  25. ^ "The Baloch Insurgency and its Threat to Pakistan's Energy Sector". The Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  26. ^ "Testimony of Ali Dayan Hasan before the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding Human Rights in Balochistan - Human Rights Watch". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  27. ^ "Incident Summary for GTDID: 200907300006". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  28. ^ "Incident Summary for GTDID: 201008140001". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  29. ^ "Rehabilitated Ziarat Residency to be inaugurated on August 14th".