Baloch leaders booked after extending support to PM Modi's I-Day speech

Three separatist Baloch leaders, Brahamdagh Bugti, Harbiyar Marri and Banuk Karima Baloch, were booked by the Pakistan police for allegedly supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statements on Balochistan.

The Baloch leaders were booked under different sections of the Pakistan Penal Code. The sections refer to "concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment", "waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan", "concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war", and "assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty".

Baloch leaders booked after extending support to PM Modis I-Day speech

Prime Minister Narendra Modi his Independence Day speech had said said the people of Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and PoK had thanked him. Reuters

Munir Ahmed, Maulana Muhammad Aslam, Muhammad Hussain, Ghulam Yaseen Jatak and Muhammad Rahim had registered complaints at five police stations in the province's Khuzdar area. According to Dawn, one of the petitioners alleged that the Baloch leaders encouraged India to "commit aggression against Pakistan."

Bugti, Baloch nationalist leader, in an interview with The Indian Express, thanked Modi for drawing attention of the international community to their national movement and said that Pakistan's involvement in terrorist attacks in a known fact.

Talking about the human rights violation in Balochistan, he accused Pakistan of oppressing the Baloch people and denying them "their basic human rights". On India's role, he told The Indian Express, "We expect India to play a role as a responsible neighbour and the world’s largest democracy to intervene in Balochistan and stop genocide." 

Modi, in his Independence Day speech, said the people of Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir "thanked him a lot in the past few days".

Modi's controversial statement sparked protests across Balochistan, with large numbers of tribesmen taking to the streets in protest in Dera Bugti, Khuzdar, Quetta, Chaman and other parts of the province, Dawn said.

Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri, in a speech last week alleged that the Indian government "fully supports the ongoing insurgency in Balochistan".

Zehri's speech came days after a video showing exiled Bugti appreciating "support" given to the Baloch people by Modi began circulating on social media. He also alleged that the Indian government "is deeply involved in sponsoring elements like Bugti, Harbiyar Marri, Zamran Marri and Allah Nazar".

He accused Bugti of "getting funds from Indians", alleging "that's why he supported Modi's statement".

Days after Modi's speech, Baloch activist Karima Baloch had sent the prime minister a Raksha Bandhan message, urging "Brother Modi" to be the "voice of the Baloch people".  She had said that though the people of Balochistan will fight their own battle, they need Modi to help voice their concerns on the international platforms.

Meanwhile, the United States expressed concern about the human rights situation in Gilgit Baltistan and asked all parties in Pakistan to resolve the issues through a valid political process.

"We do have concerns about the human rights situation there, and have reported that for several years in our Human Rights Report," a State Department Spokesperson told PTI.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Aug 23, 2016 16:19:08 IST

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