Three Baloch groups formally end ceasefire

By Malik Siraj Akbar

Three armed groups in Balochistan on Sunday announced the formal end of a four-month-old unilateral ceasefire in response to the security forces’ continued military operation in the province.

Declaring the end of the ceasefire, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) spokesman Bibarg Baloch said the BLA, the Balochistan Republican Army (BRA) and the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) were disappointed by the government’s ‘lacklustre’ response to the ceasefire.

The three ‘pro-independent Balochistan’ groups announced the ceasefire in September last year, which ended a cycle of targeted killings in the province.

Bibarg told Daily Times they had decided to unconditionally halt their operations last September, hoping the government would concede to the Baloch demands.

He said the three groups had sincerely adhered to their pledge of not launching attacks, but alleged the government continued the military operation, exploiting Baloch resources and killing innocent people.

“We have decided to end the ceasefire in the wake of fresh attacks in Dera Bugti and Sui areas which have killed more than 50 people, mainly women and children,” said Bibarg, claiming the situation in the conflict areas was worse than what was being reported in the media, as the media had limited access to the areas.

Bibarg said the government took the ceasefire as an opportunity to expand the military operations to Gwadar, Turbat, and Mashky.

He said the Baloch wanted to convey to the world that Islamabad would not review its policy towards Balochistan in any case.

“If we do not fight to protect our motherland then what is the point of our existence? We appeal to all Baloch people to join our armed struggle to liberate Balochistan,” he said.\story_5-1-2009_pg7_9

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