Everything you need to know about Balochistan freedom fighters, who want freedom from Pakistan

A shocking incident that took everyone by storm, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) was assaulted by Baloch Army personnel in Karachi.

Pakistan’s Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has been accused of carrying out the brutal attack. However, BLA has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Four people armed with grenades and machine guns, on Monday made a brutal attack over the Pakistan Stock Exchange building, killing four security guards, a cop and at least two civilians before being shot dead by security forces. 

The BLA is the largest and the oldest-surviving insurgent group in the region. Despite being the largest, resource-rich territory of Pakistan, the cruelty of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad on Balochistan has been constantly demanding political rights, autonomy and control over their own resources since independence in 1947.

The BLA is an ethnonationalist militant organisation and operates mainly in the province of Balochistan and the bordering areas of Afghanistan. “Most BLA members are drawn from the Marri or Bugti tribes. It is speculated that the BLA may also recruit political youth activists,” noted a study by Stanford University.

The group, primarily, fights to get independence from Pakistan and wants to form a separate state of ‘Greater Balochistan’. Over the years, discrimination has spread on the basis of minorities and religion across Pakistan. Religious discrimination is a never-ending issue in Pakistan which has been running since 1947 and there is no remedy till now.

The Islamabad government has been exploiting people in Balochistan and people have been deprived of resources. It is speculated that the group came into existence in 2000. However, several accounts suggest that the group is a resurgence of past insurgent groups, specifically the “Independent Balochistan Movement” of 1973 to 1977.

Since the BLA officially came into the picture in 2000, it has carried out many brutal attacks in Pakistan. The organisation rose to prominence in May 2003, when it carried out a series of attacks in the province, killing several police personnel and non-native Baloch residents.

Over the next few years, the insurgent group conducted many such attacks in Balochistan, primarily targeting the military.

“These attacks targeted Pakistani military locations and personnel using mortar strikes. The BLA has regularly employed this tactic of small scale bombing throughout its lifetime,” noted the Stanford study.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.