The United States (US) has taken a much-needed step by declaring Baloch Liberation Organisation (BLA) a terrorist group. Whether the US took the initiative on the request of Pakistan or decided on its own to declare BLA a terrorist entity, nothing can be said with much conviction at the moment.

Nevertheless, the move will help in removing the air of mistrust between the US and Pakistan. Many saw the US as a power that used to encourage Baloch separatists and giving free space to carry out their political propaganda against the Pakistani state. Declaring of BLA as a global terrorist group is a significant diplomatic victory for Pakistan. It can be safely assumed that the group’s atrocities against civilians prompted the US to declare it a terrorist outfit.

BLA has been a security nuisance for law enforcement agencies (LEAs) of Pakistan. In the restive province of Balochistan, the organisation carried out some of the deadliest and most grotesque attacks again LEAs and ordinary people. The organisation cared but little for the sanctity of human life in the province.

Many a time, the terrorist outfit carried out terrorist actions to halt the development projects in the province. And the group has become belligerent enough to target cities outside Balochistan. The attack on Chinese consulate in Karachi early this year indicates the reach of the group to other cities as well. The group would target any person at its will. Labour from Punjab faced the brunt of its wrath the most. By targeting the civilians the group committed, the outfit often violates the international conventions. The group, regrettably, while carrying out its operations against Pakistani state believed in “means justify means” approach. It is hoped that the US action against BLA will help in bringing down the reign of terror that the militant outfit had established in parts of the restive province.

Hopefully, the US move against the militant group will make other states also think to reconsider their support for the organisation. Now that the US has taken the lead, other nations also need to follow suit. It is about time to call a spade a spade. The organisation has long been involved in abusing the rights of citizens of Pakistan.

It is welcome that the US has declared the organisation a terrorist entity. However, triumphalism should not make us hazy. Pakistani state and officials need a retrospective approach to understand the causes of terrorism. If the authorities do not try to understand the causes of terrorism, then many more organisations will sprout.