India rejects Bugti asylum request

It seems like his best friends have left him in the middle of nowhere.

Though Brahumdagh Bugti, president of the Baloch Republican Party rubbished Press reports that he had filed for asylum in India that has been denied by New Delhi, well informed sources said a high level Indian team met with the young leader in Geneva and apprised him of about rejection of his request.

“I only met and discussed, all verbal,” said Bugti, 36, according to the ANI. He was asked if he actually filed any papers as reported or if it was just a meeting at the Consulate in September last year.

Bugti accompanied by his brother-in-law Mehran Baluch, president of the Baluchistan House, did go to the Indian consulate last September to ask about the asylum procedures, it was widely reported last fall.  An AP video also showed his visit.

“The meeting of our central committee ended… And in the meeting the members of the central committee have decided with majority that I will appeal for a political asylum in India,” an ANI report cited him at that time.

According to well informed sources, a team of high level Indian officials met Bugti in Geneva and told him about New Delhi’s decision.

Just last month, the Swiss government had also informed Bugti that they were turning down his asylum petition on a charge that he heads the militant Baloch Republican Army (BRA). Bugti publicly denies any connection with militancy and insists that he only heads the Balochistan Republican Party (BRP).

Bugti had left Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, and arrived in Geneva more than seven years back. Bugti had said he and his family left insecure in Afghanistan, though nearly 9,000 of his tribesmen who followed him to Afghanistan live there. They has followed him there after the assassination of his grandfather, former governor and chief minister of Balochistan, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in August 2006.

Earlier this year, the Times of India reported that India’s Baloch offensive might be on a slow burner for a while and correctly predicted Bugti‘s application for political asylum in India may not materialize.

Though India’s risk-taking Premier Narendra Modi came out in support of the people of Balochistan at the historic Red Fort speech last year, Nehruvian babus who infest the Indian foreign and security services seem to have shot down his zeal.

For example, former external affairs minister Natwar Singh advised caution to India on Bugti’s petition, according to the DailyO. “India should study his case well before granting him asylum. Caution is the need of the hour as he is the leader of a powerful tribe which has widespread control over a strategic piece of land.”

Bugti appears to be extremely bored, depressed and drinking heavily in Geneva and has time and again said he feels as if he has been imprisoned in a “golden cage,” meaning he has the money but not the freedoms.

As if a blot from the blue, last month the Swiss government clamped a life time ban on Swiss entry of Mehran Baluch, who is not only Bugti’s brother-in-law but also his good friend.

A silver liner in the sky was return to Pakistan of Mehran Baluch’s elder brother Gazzain Marri, who has set his sight on a key position in the Balochistan government after the 2018 elections. Marri may play a key role in rehabilitating Bugti within the Pakistan political setup, now that he feels stuck in Geneva.

Both Bugti and Mehran Baluch kept mum on Marri’s return, which means his return, after ending his 18-year exile in the UAE, enjoyed their tacit approval. It is not immediately known if Gazzain Marri decision to go back home followed India’s rejection of Bugti’s plea.




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