The guerrilla movement in Balochistan against Pakistan military occupation is increasingly becoming a tragicomedy, a war of words between two militant outfits over the killing of a former Baloch commander of black descent showed Thursday.
Jaggoo Baloch lost his sons and brothers in the struggle against Pakistan army. On Wednesday Gohram Baloch, spokesperson for the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), had claimed the responsibility for killing Jaggoo Baloch, saying it should serve as an example for those who betray the cause. But five hours ago on Thursday Sarbaz Baloch, spokesperson for Baloch Republican Army, said in a statement headlined the “BRA killed Juggoo, BLF is emotionally owning responsibility for the killing.”
Here is the translation of the statement of Sarbaz Baloch, pseudonym for a person who is widely believed to be based in Switzerland:
“The Sarmachars of the Baloch Republcan Army target killed Jaggoo in Nasirabad area of Tump district, but in an adrenaline rush the BLF claimed responsibility for the killing, which is against all moral values and resistance principles,” said Sarbaz Baloch on the website rnn.com that generally carries news about the BRA, Baloch Republican Party of Swiss-based Brahumdagh Bugti and affiliated Baloch Republican Students Organization.
“Jaggoo was in the past affiliated with the BLF but after some years in 2008 on his own free will, he joined the BRA. Our organization put a condition that he will stop using drugs, but even after passage of two years he could not overcome his drug addiction. As BRA comrades kept pushing him on the issue, after two years, he left the BRA and again joined the BLF.
“After that when veteran Baloch commander Saleem Baloch said goodbye to the BLF and launched his own Baloch National Liberation Front (BNLF), Jagoo and Sattar Baloch also joined the new organization. But after some time the two surrendered before the state and at the behest of the agencies began their activities in Nasirabad and Kalatuk and the adjoining areas, providing information about the Sarmachars and their sympathizers and extorting money from the public at the point of gun.
“The other day the BRA Sarmachars trailed the vehicle in which Jaggoo was travelling but their were four other Baloch civilians with him. After some time, the four travellers got down from the vehicle. Jaggoo’s automotive slowed down at a speed breaker at which point our Sarmachars shot and killed him.
“Just moments later, the BLF claimed credit for Jaggoo’s killing. Still, the BRA central leadership, showing patience and tolerance, contacted the central leadership of the BLF. The BLF informed the BRA that since their comrades were also in hot pursuit for Jaggoo three days in a row. The BRA said upon further communication with the local BLF guys in Nasirabad, they said were also bewildered over their outfit’s claim. Despite many efforts to contact the BLF leadership, the organization said our comrades are not in touch and made other excuses which amounted to nothing but waste of time.
“Therefore the BRA is obligated to apprise the Baloch nation about the ground realities. Using the killing of Jaggoo as a pretext to declare the BNLF as a paper outfit and conducting a character assassination of Master Saleem is nothing but a narcissistic exercise. The struggle for freedom of Balochistan cant afford narcissism and lack of tolerance. Everyone should act maturely and shun juvenile.”
While the slain former black Baloch commander lost his sons and brothers to Pakistan army, which the BLF conceded in its statement, the other comrade Sattar Baloch, who the BRA accused of being a state informer, had survived brutal torture at the hands of the ISI. Sattar Baloch, who like Jaggoo was a founding member of the BLF, was a spokesperson for the BLF and also a member of its supreme council, had developed serious difference with Dr Nazar.
“Those who render supreme sacrifices by heading for the mountains are agencies people? Commander Juggoo lost his two brothers (and sons) and he belongs to the agencies”? he asked. He said he objected to BLF policy of killing Baloch civilians and Baloch political activists.
“We have serious differences with the National Party and Balochistan National Party policy and strategy, but we don’t support the killings of their activists and leaders,” Sattar Baloch said in a video posted six years ago.
“There is a 1200 miles border with Iran. People do trade across the border for their livelihood and have to grease the palms of the security personnel to do business. Does this make them state agents?” Sattar Baloch asked.
The BLF is headed by Dr Allah Nazar, who is now based in Iranian Balochistan because of Pakistan’s scorched earth policies in Pakistan-occupied Balochistan, while the Swiss government believes the BRA is headed by Geneva-based Brahumdagh Bugti, wo is president of the Baloch Republican party (BRP).
The policy of targeting Baloch civilians and political activists is opposed by the oldest militant outfit, Balochistan Liberation Army, which is allegedly headed by London-based Hyrbyair Marri. Mr Marri publicly denies the charge.
Angst also runs high among Baloch that when influential feudal lords surrender, they remain unharmed but when a commoner lay downs arms he is brought to instance justice. In September, former Balochistan home Nawabazada Gazzain Marri returned to Pakistan after ending his 18 year exile in Dubai and got debriefed at the highest intelligence and security but is safely contemplating to become either chief minister or governor after the 2018 elections.
Likewise Nawab Shahzain Bugti, first cousin of Brahumdagh Bugti and friend of Hafiz Saeed, has announced he will go fight against India ahead of the Pakistan army, but neither BLF nor BRA has touched him. His younger brother, Gohram Bugti, is fully cooperating with the military authorities in Dera Bugti for more than four years now, without incident.
Serious and sober analysts take the militants charge of branding their opponents as agents with a pinch of salt. These militant outfits not only accuse well-known activists such as Canadian celebrity Tarek Fatah, female activist Prof Naela Quadri, Cardiff-based Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Daud, baloch Voice Foundation president Munir Baloch and even this scribe of being Pakistan agents, but they also accuse senior Indian researchers based in New Delhi, who back Baloch right to self determination, of being on the ISI payroll.