The End of Insurgency?
Baloch nationalist leader Bramdagh Bugti, 30, has spoken for the first time since fleeing from Afghanistan to seek asylum in Switzerland. The New York Times has not only run a fresh profile-like story about Mr. Bugti but also shared an unseen picture of the popular guerrilla leader.
In the fresh get-up, Mr. Bugti looks like a Citibank executive.
There was nothing new in the interview except one striking quote:
“Though Mr. Bugti says he supports only peaceful political activism rather than armed resistance, he does share the rebels’ demand for independence for the Baluch.”
In the past Bramdagh clearly supported the Baloch armed resistance movement by justifying it under the umbrella of “self-defence” although there is no public evidence of his direct association with any armed groups.
The Baloch Republican Party (BRP), a political outfit which was founded by Mr. Bugti rejected parliamentary politics but always offered unconditional support to the Baloch armed groups locally known as sarmachars. [Freedom fighters]
Bramdagh’s BRP had recently pulled out of the pro-resistance-until-independence Baloch National Front (BNF), a group of different political organizations and civil rights groups because of latter’s scathing and consistent criticism of the Balochistan National Party.
However, if Mr. Bugti decides to publicly support peaceful struggle over the armed resistance in the future, this will tremendously upset the ongoing Baloch insurgency mainly in Jaffarabad, Naseerabad, Kohlu, Sibi and Dera Bugti districts on the borders of Sindh and Punjab provinces.
Bramdagh’s charisma is more widespread than his grandfather’s, Nawab Akbar Bugti. He is extremely loved by middle class educated youth all over the province. His withdrawal from supporting the armed resistance, if it ever happens, will be a crucial milestone in the current movement?
We have to wait and see whether it was a misquote or a policy change from Mr. Bugti, a message for which he chose a major global publication like the New York Times as the channel.