LAHORE - Plans are on the cards to bring the “wanted heads” of Baloch militant outfits back to pursue cases of high crime (terrorism) against them pending in the country to end the remaining insurgency in the troubled province, informed political sources told The Nation yesterday.
At the moment two major Baloch militant commanders are operating from foreign soil – Brahamdagh Bugti, chief of Baloch Republican Army (BRA) and Harbiyar Marri, head of Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). Both these militant outfits are banded and have been placed in the list of 61 terrorist organisations by the interior ministry. Mr Bugti is in self-exile in Switzerland and making efforts to get an asylum there. State security agencies reportedly have shared some information with the Swiss authorities establishing BRA chief’s connection to insurgent actions in Balochistan.
Harbiyar Marri, who was in self-exile in London, reached India sometime back to avert a possible attempt by the security agencies to trade him with the suspected killers of MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq. Mr Marri, who is not in contact with the media for a long time, is not willing to abandon militancy according to his last tweets.
Both the BRA and BLA heads are wanted in several cases of high crime (terrorism) and the security agencies want them face trials. The move will help end insurgency in Balochistan, said the political sources. When asked why the Indian government has not been requested for Marri’s custody, they claimed the issue had been raised in some back channel contacts.
The security agencies are preparing a comprehensive dossier to share with authorities concerned to convince them to handover the two terrorist leaders to Pakistan. The Interpol can be engaged to get the two high-profile fugitives, they added. The civilian rulers with the partnership of military establishment introduced Pur Aman Balochistan programme under which the surrendering militant commanders have been offered amnesty, keeping in view the nature of cases against them, and provision of financial assistance to start a new life.
The government had opened dialogue channels with Baloch militant leaders abroad and Mr Bugti showed signs of interest in rapprochement but his demands were unrealistic giving the level of his involvement in the crimes against the state.
He was offered unconditional surrender that he was not ready to accept fearing possible sentences by courts in cases of high crime pending against him, said the sources. Mr Bugti in the meanwhile was planning to move to some country which did not have extradition treaty with Pakistan or where it was easier to get political asylum, Baloch separatist leaders had told this paper in January this year.
Overall insurgent actions are decreasing in the volatile province because of declining support from the populace, cut in funds by their foreign handlers and aggressive surgical strike operations.
Many of the key militant commanders have surrendered accepting the Pur Aman Balochistan programme. Several major commanders have been killed including Dr Allah Nazar who was leading the deadly Baloch Liberation Front.


JAWAD R AWAN

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 04-Mar-2016 here.