Baloch Pro-Independent Leader Nawab Brahumdagh Bugti lashes out at Akhtar Mengal

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ZURICH: Brahamdagh Bugti has alleged that the Balochistan National Party (BNP) leader Akhtar Mengal has let down Balochistan’s nationalist movement by deciding to go to Islamabad to present his six points for the resolution of the province’s issue.

Speaking to ‘The News’ here, the exiled leader of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) criticised Akhtar Mengal for “playing the game of the establishment” at a “wrong time”. Bugti, who was given asylum in Switzerland after fleeing with his family via Afghanistan, said Akhtar Mengal had let down the Baloch sentiments and his party had ill-advised him.

“His six points have nothing to do with the interests of the Baloch. Why didn’t he go to Balochistan where the people are affected? It’s beyond our comprehension. He felt safe in Islamabad and didn’t bother to visit his native Balochistan where he perhaps feels threatened and marginalised. He has shown that he is not accessible to his own people,” said Bugti.

The hardline young leader said the timing of Mengal’s visit was wrong and he blamed Mengal’s party stalwarts for advising him to go to Islamabad to appear before the Supreme Court and do the media talks. He said Mengal was trying to present himself as a leader of the “misplaced, missing and wronged people” but the misplaced families have said that they had not left their areas for “Mengal’s six points”. “He doesn’t represent the victims and should not try to do so,” said Bugti, who is actively campaigning in Switzerland to highlight Balochistan’s issue with the help of Mehran Baloch, his brother-in-law and Balochistan’s representative at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Bugti said he was speaking to several nationalist organisations and soon many parties could merge into one large party to “better serve the interests of Balochistan”. “Consensus among Baloch is growing that they need to unite for their country and to stop human rights violations.”He said Akhtar Mengal need to answer if any secret deals had been signed and what’s being negotiated in the name of Baloch people.

Bugti lived for about half a year in Geneva but then he was advised by the Swiss government to move to Zurich for security reasons. He lives here at a secret suburban location under tight security. Some of the security has been provided by the Swiss government but he has around a dozen bodyguards he was allowed to bring from his native Bugti tribe. His house is monitored round-the-clock by the Swiss security services and he is accompanied everywhere by his security staff. Bugti told ‘The News’ he felt safer in Zurich but didn’t afford to compromise on his personal security.

It is understood that Bugti was provided sanctuary in Switzerland after the American government leaned heavily on the United Nations Human Rights Commission for Refugees and several other western governments but Bugti still waits for a formal decision on his asylum case. It’s understood that he has been granted asylum and there’s no way he will be denied political asylum but due to political expediencies the Swiss government is not making the decision public – and not issuing him passport either, fearing that it may strains its relations with Pakistan further.

“I am still waiting for my papers but I understand that it can take a long time due to the complexity of Swiss laws. I have no issue here. I have no restriction on doing politics and human rights work.”

Brahumdagh confirmed that he had never been approached by Interior Minister Rehman Malik and would not entertain any request for negotiations. “Negotiating with Pakistani government is out of question. The civilian government is powerless in Balochistan, the real power lies with the military and the secret agencies. We don’t take the announcements of ministers seriously.”