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Tracing the roots of BLA in the backdrop of PSX attack

GlobalVillageSpace

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Mar 4, 2017
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The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), came back into the limelight after it took responsibility for an audacious attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in Karachi on June 29. Four BLA militants stormed the PSX building and killed three security guards and a police officer before being killed by the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs).

The attack happened at a time when reportedly an important Chinese business delegation was inside the premise of PSX. In recent years, Chinese bourses and corporations have invested in PSX and BLA since 2014 (emergence of CPEC as part of BRI) has reinvented itself as an Anti-China militia.
Its statements on social media paint itself as a people’s resistance against Chinese imperialism. It also took responsibility for the attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi in Nov 2018, and on Pearl Continental Hotel – frequented by Chinese engineers – in the port city of Gawadar in 2019.

Read more: How to make sure Baloch lives matter

BLA: Historical Evolution of an idea from the 1970s

BLA’s reinvention as an Anti-China militia can only be understood in historical context. While dealing with guerrilla cum terror organisations dates are always tricky, but it was founded in 2000 as a militant outfit. However, Baluch militancy – as an idea – has been around from the early 1970’s.

This gradually germinated from a deep-seated sense of anger and alienation that has lingered in sections of the Baluch elite since 1948. Pakistan’s British era bureaucracy left scars in sections of Baluch elite and intelligentsia as it was negotiating, cajoling and persuading different tribal setups of British Baluchistan and Kalat to join the newly formed state of Pakistan.
But the grievances have been more a function of elitist narrative shaping than a genuine reflection of ground realities. Same Baluch elite – powerful Bugtis and Marris – who kept on taking up arms against the Pakistani state, have also been enjoying massive privilege and political power as parliamentarians, ministers, senators and chief ministers.
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Tracing the roots of BLA in the backdrop of PSX attack
 

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