An Interview with Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch

By Sajid Hussain

Strangely, Dr. Allah Nazar prefers books to guns. “I’d like to have both though. But if I have to choose one I’ll prefer the book. It’s the book which guides my gun.” the 37-year-old militant leader tells this scribe via satellite phone from an undisclosed location.

Claiming to derive inspiration from Mongol warrior and conqueror Changez Khan, he says, “Changez Khan may not be a perfect human being and I don’t like much of his actions, yet I admire his war tactics. He was a great military strategist.”

Dr Allah Nazar, blamed by the government for the assassination of Maula Bakhsh Dashti, Habib Jalib and other moderate politicians, has denied killing his political opponents. “It’s the government’s propaganda. I don’t believe in eliminating political opponents. I’m a political worker, not a bandit and I’ve taken up arms for a political ideology,” he stresses.

Apart from the government and military authorities, the National Party (NP) has also held Dr Nazar responsible for the murder of its leader Maula Bakhsh Dashti in Turbat. Some media reports suggest the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), a militant group believed to be headed by Dr Nazar, claimed responsibility for the killing. However, this politician-cum-militant leader says the NP was providing “an excuse to the military to knock him out”.

“I’ve worked with Maula Bakhsh Dashti and other leaders of the NP during my student life. I’ve had political differences with them since then, but it doesn’t mean I’ll kill them for having ideas other than mine. I believe in political process and I’ll prefer to persuade them through dialogue.”

“Even Jalib Sahib’s Balochistan National Party has held Pakistan military and intelligence outfits responsible for his assassination.”

Believed to be the most influential figure among the radical Baloch youth, Dr Nazar belongs to a middle-class family from Mashkay, a town in the Awaran district, Balochistan. He started his political career as a member of the students’ wing of the Balochistan National Movement (BNM), now the National Party. After parting ways with the then BNM, Dr Nazar formed his own faction of the Baloch Students Organistaion in 2001. He openly advocated an armed struggle for liberating Balochistan till 2003 — when he went into hiding to organise his own militant group. His Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) made headlines when it claimed responsibility for killing three Chinese engineers in Gwadar on May 2, 2004.

He claims he has never been approached for talks by the government or military authorities.

Dr Nazar was picked up by intelligence agencies on March 25, 2005 from a flat in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar area in Karachi. After having remained missing for around year, he resurfaced on August 12, 2006 and was jailed in Quetta for several months. After his release on bail, he went into hiding again, where he says he “witnessed slavery and oppression very closely in those torture cells,” says a bitter Dr Nazar. And now “The aim of my life is to purge Balochistan of Punjabi Army.”

Does he work on an Indian agenda to destabilise Pakistan? He rubbishes this allegation and adds: “It’s now an outdated allegation. Whenever the Baloch rise up for their rights, they are dubbed as Indian agents. But it has now been acknowledged that it’s an indigenous movement.”

So then where does he get cash and weapons from to run his militant group? He says he would appreciate any help from anyone — but would not work in “anybody else’s interest, except Baloch”.

He reveals Baloch women have also joined them in their fight against, what he calls, slavery. “According to my estimate, we enjoy the support of 80 percent of the Baloch masses. And the popularity of our cause is growing with each passing day,” adding the Baloch Liberation Front, Balochistan Liberation Army, Baloch Republican Army and other lesser known Baloch militant groups will unite at a later stage to wage a more organised and sophisticated war for Balochistan’s independence. (Courtesy: The News on Sunday)