Ex-BNA chief asks militants to give up arms


Gulzar says ‘armed war’ complicated province’s problems; Solution to Balochistan’s problems lies in dialogue; Asks followers to surrender to state; Pleads mercy

Former leader of the banned outfit the Baloch National Army, Gulzar Imam, on Tuesday appealed to all insurgents to surrender arms for the sake of Balochistan.

Imam was the chief and founder of the BNA until he was arrested in a high-profile intelligence-based operation by the security forces in April.

The ‘high-value target’ has been a “hardcore militant as well as founder and leader of the banned outfit BNA which came into being after the amalgamation of Baloch Republican Army and United Baloch Army”, read the statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations.

The ISPR elaborated that the BNA has been responsible for dozens of violent terrorist attacks in Pakistan, including attacks on law enforcement agencies installations in Panjgur and Noshki.

Gulzar also remained as “deputy to Brahamdagh Bugti in Baloch Republican Army till 2018 and was instrumental in the formation of Baloch Raji Aajoi Sangar and remained its operational head”, according to the statement.

He was presented before the media on Tuesday where he admitted his mistake, saying “I was on the wrong path”.

He revealed that he belonged to the Prom area of Panjgur. “I was a contractor and believed that there is an unfair distribution of resources in the province,” he said.

He also said that he joined the armed resistance 15 years ago and remained actively engaged until his arrest.

Imam however stressed that since his arrest, he had had the opportunity to reflect on his actions and after doing some soul-searching he had reached the conclusion that violence was not the answer.

He maintained that a struggle for Balochistan’s rights was only possible through political change and an armed struggle would only push the region into further despair.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Interior Minister Zia Langove stated that the government was ever willing to enter dialogue with those involved in the insurgency. He said he wanted his “friends”, who were

still fighting, to sit with the state to solve their problems using logic. “War has pushed the province into dark and I want Baloch students to play their part in development rather than fighting,” he added.

“During arrest, I got the ooportunity to introspect, and I analysed the literature of armed groups operating across the world.

It dawned upon me the fact that fight for rights of Balochistan could only be fought constitutionally, he said.

He said that the world reflected that solution lied in dialogue, adding that all including federal governmant, provincial governments, and armed groups were responsible for the state Balochistan was in. “He felt that state insitutions have heard their problems and he is hopeful that state will give him a chance to change,” he added.