The game players

Published December 16, 2012

At the moment there are around 25 different militant groups operating in Balochistan — most are insurgents while a few have been formed on a pro-government platform. The main groups are listed below:

Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) launched the latest insurgency. Initially led by Mir Balaaj Marri, it’s now headed by his brother Hyrbayar Marri who currently resides in London.

Baloch Republican Army (BRA) came into prominence with the participation of the Bugtis. Though he has never officially acknowledged the group’s head continues to be Brahamdagh Bugti.

Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) formed in the ’70s under Sher Mohammad Marri, it is currently led by Dr Allah Nazar Baloch. The BLF operates across Balochistan but is primarily focused in the southern coastal Makran belt.

United Baloch Army is a splinter group of the BLF. It is particularly known for attacks on settlers from Punjab and KP. The actual identity of its leader is unknown but he goes by the assumed name of Mureed Baloch or Mazar Baloch.

Lashkar-i-Balochistan led by Javed Mengal, is made up primarily of Mengal tribesmen.

Baloch Musala Difa’a Tanzeem (BMDT) is a pro-government militant group which operates around Quetta and Khuzdar. Its leader is said to be Shafiq Mengal.

 Political parties

National Party is one of the largest political parties in Balochistan. While it remains highly critical of Pakistani authorities’ treatment of the province, the party does not wish to part ways with the federation.

Jamhoori Watan Party – Talal (JWP-T) is a faction of Nawab Akbar Bugti’s JWP party. It aims to get the state to devolve most of its powers to provincial governments.

Jamhoori Watan Party – Aali (JWP-A) is also a faction of the JWP. It’s led by Mir Aali Bugti and professes to advocate provincial autonomy.

Baloch Republican Party (BRP) Brahamdagh Bugti formed this party soon after he went into exile in Afghanistan. The party wants an independent Balochistan outside the federation.

Balochistan National Party – Mengal (BNP-M) The party was formed by Sardar Ataullah Mengal after his return from exile. It’s currently led by his son Sardar Akhtar Mengal and advocates devolution of most federal subjects to the province, but may change its stance to that of a call for outright independence.

BNP – Awami (BNP-A) broke away from the BNP to take part in the 2008 elections. It’s led by current federal minister Israrullah Zehri and remains pro-federalist.

Baloch National Movement — Its last known leader was veteran nationalist leader Ghulam Mohammad Baloch. The BNM leadership now operates underground and is calling for an independent Balochistan.

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