Wednesday 25 May 2022
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Balochistan Liberation Army: Know about rebels who attacked Chinese in Pakistan

Code-named 'Misha' and 'Sasha', two former KGB agents created the original Balochistan Liberation Army comprising activists of the Baloch Student Organisation

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The Balochistan Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing that killed four people, including three Chinese nationals, through a car explosion inside the premises of the University of Karachi. The foreign nationals used to teach Chinese at the International Business Administration institute inside the Karachi University.

It is not the first time Chinese nationals have been targeted in attacks in Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city and economic hub (also its former capital). The Balochistan Liberation Army said a woman suicide bomber had executed the attack. Even in the past, the Balochistan Liberation Army had attacked Chinese nationals in Pakistan. Pakistan has declared the outfit a terrorist group.

The Baloch Liberation Army is the largest and the oldest rebel group in Balochistan. It is the armed wing of the Balochistan separatist movement.

The political leaders of the Baloch movement, most of them in exile, spread across different countries, are sympathetic to the Balochistan Liberation Army, but they do not publicly acknowledge it. The outfit, with a cadre of 6,000, has been spearheading the insurgency against Pakistan since 2000. It has reportedly conducted several violent attacks in the Islamic republic.

Code-named ‘Misha’ and ‘Sasha’, two former KGB agents were among the architects of the original Baloch Liberation Army. According to them, the original rebel group was built around the core of the Baloch Student Organisation (BSO).

Khair Bakhsh Marri was reportedly the leader of the Balochistan Liberation Army. Post-Marri, there is no confirmation about who is the leader of the group.

Demands of Balochistan Liberation Army

The group’s priority is to seek independence from Pakistan and form a separate state of ‘Greater Balochistan’. Their core resentment is that Pakistan has been exploiting resources in the region without sharing any of the proceeds with the local tribes.

There is also a Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) that Jumma Khan founded in 1964. It is another recognised armed militant organisation fighting for the cause of Baloch freedom. It is said that the BLF used to be popular once, but most of the BLF fighters have merged with the Balochistan Liberation Army.

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