ISLAMABAD: Ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s scheduled visit to Washington, the United States has declared Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) a terrorist organisation.
The BLA was added to the US Department of Treasury terrorism list on Tuesday. Imran Khan would begin his five-day trip from July 20, officials said.
“The Department of State has designated the BLA and Hizballah operative Husain Ali Hazzima as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Executive Order (EO) 13224,” read the official release issued by The Department of State.
“Today’s actions notify the US public and the international community that Hazzima and BLA have committed, or poses a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism and that Jundallah, having adopted the new name Jaysh al-Adl, continues to engage in terrorism that threatens the national security of the United States. Terrorist designations expose and isolate organisations and individuals, and deny them access to the US financial system,” it further read. Terrorist designations of BLA and Husain Ali Hazzima and amendments to the terrorist designations of Jundallah occurred in Washington, officials said.
The BLA, which Pakistan believed was an Indian proxy, was being led by Brahamdagh Bugti and Harbiyar Marri from abroad, informed officials said. Pakistan government claimed that Indian consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad were providing arms and other financial aid to BLA leaders roaming abroad.
Informed officials further revealed that it was BLA which targeted Chinese consulate in Karachi and its fighters on May 11, 2019 attacked a five star hotel in Gwadar. The BLA also claimed to target the Quaid-i-Azam Residency in Balochistan where Muhammad Ali Jinnah spent the last days of his life, in June 2013. Brahamdagh Bugti and Harbiyar Marri have asked native Balochs to act against the state and foreigners.
They incited locals to target people from various ethnic backgrounds like Pashtuns, Sindhis and Punjabis whom the BLA considered to be outsider in the province.
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