Relations between the Balochistan Liberation Army and other militant groups in Balochistan(one)
- by BTN
Part 1 preface
Belochistan Liberation Army(BLA) ,a radical nationalism militant group active in western Pakistan, founded in 2000 and recognized as a terrorism oraganization by Pakistani government in 2006. BLA strives for autonomy and expands its infuluence mainly by attacks on Pakistani and foreign targets. Among the three major tribes Marri Bugti Mengal,members of BLA are mainly recruited from Marri.
Despite the BLA, militant groups such as Belochistan Nationalismt Army (BNA) ,Belochistan Liberation Front (BLF),Theriki Taliban Pakistan(TTP) and Islamic State-Khorasan Province(IS-K) are also active in Belochistan.
Part 2 Long term and stable cooperation
The organizations that have long-term cooperation with the BLA mainly include the TTP, the Iranian Balochistan Organization and the Balochistan Army. The BLA have similar political appeals with these groups. They also cooperate in the areas of tacticals,weapon transfer,logistics and financial support.
2.1 Relations with TTP
There are clear cooperative relations between TTP and the BLA, their ideologies are the key factor to their cooperation.
TTP a militant group who stated its objective is to overthrow the Pakistani government,their ideology is the Salafi faction in Islamic fundamentalism,with its ethnic groups are mainly pushtuns. It has similar political appeals with the BLA.
The ideology of BLA once was dominated by Baloch nationalism, Islamism, and Soviet-style socialism. With the collapse of the Soviet Union after the Cold War, Islamism has re-emerged in West Asia, many BLA members therefore turned into Sunni Islamic Jihads ,which strengthened the relations between TTP and the BLA.
As for actual cooperations, TTP and the BLA share training camps and learn tactics from each other. TTP will also provide training for the BLA. The BLA changed their tactics of attack from the beginning of 2021 : large-scale attacks on camps and headquaters of pakistani military were launched .This indicates that BLA is learning tactics from TPP’s operations and applying them to real combat.
In February 2022, the BLA launched several attacks on Pakistan Border Guard headquarters in the towns of Panjgur and Noshki, causing several deaths to Pakistani military.
In return, BLA provided shelter for TTP members during the counter-terrorism operations of Pakistani forces in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region. In addition, BLA and TTP also provide each other with logistical support and conduct weapon deals, their cooperation has becoming increasingly close.
Due to the close ties between TTP and the BLA, the extremist ideas of the TTP would also spread, so that the y may follow the example of TTP and try to attack more military facilities , launching bomb attacks in populated cities,which would make the BLA more deadly and dangerous.
2.2 Relations with Jundallah(People’s Resistance Movement of Iran)
The BLA also has close ties with Jundallah. Jundallah is a Sunni-Baluchi rebel group active in Sistan and Baluchistan in southeastern Iran, close to the border with Pakistan. Similar in national attributes, ideology and political appeals.
There are a large number of Sunni extremists seeking independence in both Jundallah and the BLA, their common goal is to achieve the independence of the region of Balochistan Through the cooperation with Jundallah, the BLA has set up training camps in Iran as its site outside Pakistan. With the collapse of the Afghan government, the southeastern of Iran is likely to become a hotbed for the BLA.
2.3 Relations with Belochistan Liberation Force
Some scholars believe that the Belochistan Liberation Force is a sub branch of the BLA, and the main difference lies in the tribal attributes. The members of the Belochistan Liberation Force are from the Mengal , while the members of the BLA are mainly from the Marri.
Part 3 from cooperation to hostility(Taliban)
For a long time, the relationship between the BLA and Taliban has been mutual respect, providing shelter and joint training. However, after the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 2021, the relationship between the two sides turned hostile.
Since the U.S. military entered Afghanistan in 2001, some Afghan Taliban militants have entered Pakistan and took Balochistan as a basement, while the BLA also took use of the camps on the Afghan border for training. At the same time, the two sides also have arms trade. Most of the weapons of BLA ‘s arsenal are the former ANA weapons seized by the Taliban.
In September 2021, after the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan, in order to mantain friendly relations with Pakistan, their attitude towards the BLA has also changed to some extent. The Taliban-led Afghan interim government has repeatedly stated that they will not support or allow any militant groups including BLA and TTP to take advantage of Afghan territtory (such as building training camps). Many Balochi groups in Afghanistan have been eliminated by Taliban .
Since the Taliban retook Afghanistan, multiple BLA leaders wanted by the Pakistani government have been killed in Afghanistan including Razak, who managed theattack in Quetta in 2011 ,Based on the above incidents, after the Taliban retook the power in Afghanistan, it strengthened its cooperation with the Pakistani government,and tried to wipe out the Balochi separatist group in Afghanistan, and its relationship with the BLA has gradually turned towards hostile.
Part 1 preface Belochistan Liberation Army(BLA) ,a radical nationalism militant group active in western Pakistan, founded in 2000 and recognized as a terrorism oraganization by Pakistani government in 2006. BLA strives for autonomy and expands its infuluence mainly by attacks on Pakistani and foreign targets. Among the three major tribes…
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