By R C GANJOO
Since the 1960s female suicide attacks around the world have been on the rise.
From 1985 to 2006, 15% of all suicide attacks were conducted by female suicide bombers.
Among the first terror outfits to use females as suicide bombers were Boko Haram and the Tamil Tigers. Later, other terrorist groups followed the new paradigm.
On 26 April 2022, Shari Baloch, a 30-year-old science teacher, and mother of two, detonated her explosives at the University of Karachi in Pakistan, killing three Chinese teachers.
She belonged to the separatist militant group Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and was the first female suicide bomber in Pakistan.
The main reason behind her becoming a suicidal bomber was Balochistan’s legitimate grievances — primarily, the problems of enforced disappearances, and the use of Balochistan’s resources without development within the province.
Sadly, more than 5,000 people have gone missing in decades from the Balochistan region.
The Balochistan National Party (BNP) quit Prime Minister Imran Khan’s parliamentary bloc because of Baloch grievances including the increase in the disappearance cases.
Akhtar Mengal gave the government a list of 5,128 missing people for two years.
Since then, more than 450 of the people on the list were found or returned to their families, but during the same period, Mengal says another 1,800 were reported to have disappeared.
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) is the oldest and the most dangerous militant group, fighting against the Pakistani occupation of Balochistan.
The group has continually demanded that Pakistan should stop exploiting Balochistan’s natural resources.
The Baloch government-in-exile, formed on March 21, 2022 in Canada headed by Professor Nayla Qadri Baloch, has said that colonialism in Balochistan can be stopped only when 40 million Balochs live in three regions can be united.
They have the support of Baloch organizations living in Afghanistan and Western Balochistan in Iran.
The BLA was founded in 2000 and most of its activists are drawn from the Marri or Bugti tribes.
According to sources, ‘Misha’ and ‘Sasha’ (two former KGB agents) were the architects of making BLA.
‘Misha’ and ‘Sasha’ were the code names given to the two agents by the KGB.
According to the two KGB agents, the original BLA was built around the core of Baloch Student Organization (BSO).
Afghanistan has acknowledged that they have been providing covert support to the Baloch Liberation Army.
After the death of Aslam Baloch, alias Achu, in Kandahar, Afghan officials stated that the Afghan police chief Abdul Raziq Achakzai has housed Aslam Baloch and other separatists in Kandahar for years.
On August 26, 2006, Pakistani army killed Balochistan’s tallest leader Sardar Akbar Khan Bugti. And, on November 21, 2007, Pakistani forces killed Mir Balaach Marri, another most influential person of Balochistan.
After the killing of Sardar Akbar Khan Bugti, his grandson Brahamdagh Khan Bugti disappeared and went to the jungles.
He urged Baloch people to kill any non-native Baloch residing in Balochistan whether they were military or civilian.
The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC ), a joint project of Pakistan with China for a 40-year lease of the port of Gwadar, located in southern Balochistan, irked the people of Balochistan because they were nowhere involved as stakeholders.
In 2018, BLA focused its attention on the Chinese and Pakistani growing influence to finish Balochistan.
The group believes that the Pakistani government is working with foreign states, such as China, in order to continue to exploit natural resources in the region.
BLA accuses China and Pakistan of plundering the country’s natural resources and perpetrating atrocities on Baloch in order to eliminate Baloch identity
In 2014, alleged BLA leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri died of natural causes. Following his death, Marri’s six sons fought over control of the BLA.
It is believed that three of the sons left the BLA to help create a splinter group called the United Baloch Army (UBA).
Pakistan designated the BLA as a terrorist organization on 7 April 2006 after the group targeted security forces in a series of attacks.
The group was designated as a global terrorist organization by the United States on 2 July 2019.
The United States also froze assets belonging to the BLA. The European Union also designated Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) as a terrorist organization.
According to a security report by the Islamabad-based Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), Baloch militant groups carried out around 74 terrorist attacks in Pakistan in 2021.
The amalgamation of two other major militant groups – Baloch Republican Army and United Baloch Army is aimed at “expanding the resistance.”
According to reports, the BNA will continue to remain a part of Baloch Raji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS), an umbrella organization of Baloch militant groups that aims to unify militancy in Pakistan.
The militant outfits fighting to liberate Balochistan are Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), Balochistan Republican Army (BRA United Baloch Army (UBA), Baloch Republican Guard.