In a dramatic comeback, Baloch rebel leader Dr Allah Nazar comes out of the dead to rubbish the Pakistan army’s claims that they had killed him months ago in a military operation in Balochistan’s Mashkay area.
In a video released by the Balochistan Liberation Front, which he leads, he says the government is running a propaganda campaign about his death.
“For some time, the government has been spreading propaganda about my death. It’s plain lie.”
Leaning against a rocky hill, with a rifle, news magazines and a water bottle on his side, he appears to be in good health.
He is the main face of the Baloch armed struggle for an independent Balochistan. Rumours about his death had been making rounds for the last few months after Pakistani army claimed they had either killed or seriously injured him in a military operation.
“We are still confirming. There has been no communication and his presence has not been reported since a certain time, which indicates that he has died,” Balochistan home minister Sarfaraz Bugti had told a press conference months ago.
The video comes two days after Pakistan army announced one million rupees head money on Dr Nazar, confirming that the previous claims about his death were not true.
“I want to tell my people that the national liberation movements don’t end with the death of one person. Today, the Baloch people have a strong and stable organization (Balochistan Liberation Front) which is capable of leading the liberation movement to its destination,” he says in the video, which is recorded in the Balochi language.
He leaves subtle hints about some recent developments in Balochistan to prove the video has been recorded after the military’s claims of his death.
“Today, those who are calling the shots in the National Action Plan, Pakistan Protection Ordinance and the Apex Committee are issuing orders for the Baloch genocide. They include National Party, the ISI, the Muslim League and the MI. They have turned Balochistan into a slaughter house. The nation will avenge every single drop of their martyrs’ blood from them,” he warns.
“Pakistan-China Corridor is a conspiracy to convert the majority Baloch into a minority in Balochistan. The Baloch nation will stand against it and, if God wills, we’ll fail it.”
One of his close aides admitted that he narrowly escaped the operation and the military was not wrong in suspecting that he was dead.
He said the separatist leader had gotten a new lease of life. “It was close. Very close. They almost got him this time.”
Dr Nazar’s two brothers and a nephew were killed during the operation.
“We were in the dark about him for more than a week. He was out of touch. He was not using his satellite phone for security reasons. So we thought he had been killed. On the ninth day, we finally heard he’s still alive,” he added.
The video proving he is alive will give a new impetus to the Baloch separatist movement, as he is considered as the driving force behind it.
In a related development, Dr Nazar’s brother-in-law, Mir Daulat, was killed today (Thursday) by unidentified gunmen in Mashkay area. He had been a militant in the BLF but had surrendered to the army after the rumours about Dr Nazar’s murder. No one has claimed responsibility but it’s believed the BLF is involved in Daulat’s killing, as they might suspect he provided information to the military about the BLF leader’s whereabouts.
Sajid Hussain (1981-2020) was a writer and senior journalist from Balochistan. He had a degree in Economics, International Relations and English Literature from Karachi University. He had the experience of working with Pakistani newspapers Daily Times and The News International. Sajid Hussain was also the founding editor of this online magazine.