Bramdagh threatens to ‘repay’ the PPP
By Malik Siraj Akbar
QUETTA: While hundreds of activists of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) protested on Monday in front of Quetta press club against the ‘disappearance’ of its central secretary general Dr. Bashir Azeem, the fugitive chief of the BRP Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti pledged to ‘repay’ the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for its ‘brutal anti-Baloch policies’ during its ongoing rule.
Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti, a grandson of late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, told a telephonic press conference at Quetta Press Club that he had previously predicted that the PPP government was unlikely to end the military operation in Balochistan. The real designs of the ruling party have now been exposed to the people of Balochistan during which Baloch tribesmen have been burnt alive by the security forces, protestors shot dead, women prisoners raped and political activists subjected to enforced disappearance.
“The PPP has shown us its real face and done the worst it could do with the people of Balochistan. Now, it should wait and see how we repay the ruling party for the brutalities it has committed on our land since coming into power,” he threatened.
Bramdagh Bugti has been operating underground since he took to the hills along with his 79-year old grandfather Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in 2005. While the senior Bugti was killed in a military battle, Bramdagh, 27, has been leading the Baloch insurgency from an unknown location and runs his Baloch Republican Party (BRP). The BRP, founded last year, rejects parliamentary politics and spouses the cause of an independent Balochistan.
Bugti rejected all forms of government offers for negotiation and reconciliation by saying that his struggle was not for provincial autonomy or ownership on the Baloch resources, as claimed by other nationalist leaders. The ultimate goal of the Baloch struggle, he informed, was to seek national liberation and official arrest of the Baloch leaders were improbable to undermine their resolve to continue their struggle.
He regretted the policies of the Balochistan government, headed by chief minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, whom he billed as ‘a man who has not deserve to be called Baloch or a son of the soil.’
UN Official: Bramdagh said he did not know much about a newly formed organization, the Baloch Liberation United Front (BLUF), which had accepted responsibility for the kidnapping of an American UN official John Solecki. However, he added that his organization did not support the kidnapping of foreigners and aid workers. “We have never kidnapped a foreigner nor will we do it in the future. Those who abducted the American citizen, with whom we have no links, can better explain their stance,” he said.
Protest: Meanwhile, hundreds of supporters of the BRP protested on Monday in front of the Quetta press club against the disappearance of their central secretary general, Dr. Bashir Azeem Baloch and Chakar Qambarani, a member of the BRP Central Committee. The protestors were carrying posters, banners, placards and life-size photographs of ‘the martyrs of the Baloch movement’. They chanted slogans against the government and gave an ultimatum of 72 hours to the government to ensure the release of their missing leaders.
Both the separatist leaders have gone missing from Quetta since last Friday.
“If the government does not bring our leaders on surface within 72 hours, we will resort to the line of protest which we think suits our demands the best,” said Riaz Badani, a central BRP leader, “The government would entirely be responsible if violence breaks out after the passage of the deadline set for the release of our leaders.”
Resurgence: Dr. Bashir Azeem and Chakar Qambarani are the first two important Baloch leaders to go ‘missing’ since the restoration of democracy in the country and ouster of the Pervez Musharraf regime. The Baloch nationalists maintain that thousands of Baloch political workers and tribesmen went missing during the nine-year rule of Pervez Musharraf which witnessed a deadly military operation in the province.
While the PPP government claims to have released majority of the missing persons, the Baloch contend that majority of them are still missing and the government has initiated a new phase of such treatment with the political opponents in order to muzzle political and social dissent in the country’s restive province.