Baloch Freedom Struggle - News, Updates, Discussions, Weapons and Multimedia Thread

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Insurgents in the Mountains: Arms of Baloch Separatists
3 APR 2020 • 12 MIN READ

Whilst the various armed conflicts of militant and separatist groups across the Middle East and South East Asia are widely covered in multiple languages, in particular the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, multiple smaller conflicts are ongoing.

One of these is the ongoing efforts of multiple armed groups in Iran, Pakistan and to a degree Afghanistan to achieve national independence for the region of Balochistan, in a manner deemed superficially similar by some to the efforts of various Kurdish armed groups to achieve statehood. Whilst these do differ, like many broad nationalist movements, groups are fragmented and offer differ in desired end goals- as an example, Jaish ul-Adl and Ansar Al-Furqan claim the mantle of Baloch nationalism but are also hardline Sunni organisations that are believed by many to maintain links to Al Qaeda.

These are not the subject of this article, but rather armed separatists operating in Pakistani Balochistan- namely the broad grouping of 5 organisations, of which a large splinter of the BLA (Balochistan Liberation Army) and BLF (Baloch Liberation Front) are the most significant, as well as BRA (Baloch Republican Army). This grouping is known as BRAS (Baloch Raji Aajoi Sangar) or Baloch National Freedom Front. BRAS was formed in Late 2018 as a coordinated front through which to attack Pakistani and Chinese interests, although it is unclear to what degree that funding, weapons and personnel are shared between sub-groups on the ground. Some media is still released by the media channels of individual groups, BLA being by far the most significant.

BRAS and subgroups have claimed multiple high profile attacks, such as an attack on the Chinese consulate in November 2018, the killing of 14 passengers of a Bus stopped near Gwadar in April 2019, and the destruction of a Pakistani Army outpost in February 2020. Multiple IED and outpost attacks have taken place, as well as assasinations. Pakistani security forces have responded to this through the use of both Air Power and the Frontier Corps (a local paramililitary force), as well as regular Intelligence/Military operations.

The Baloch insurgency remains at a low level, with most attacks taking place in the mountainous and remote countryside. As can be expected, Afghanistan appears to be crucial for planning, training and arms supplies, in particular Kandahar province. (A top leadership figure of the BLA, Aslam Baloch, was killed in a suicide bombing in Kandahar City in December 2018) As with all insurgencies, Baloch separatist groups do retain a level of local support enabling their activities.

As BRAS and it's subgroups operates in a heavily mountainous region, with a very rugged landscape & limited vegetation, so have much more of a focus on long-range weapons, in particular SVD Dragunov and PSL DMRs. These rifles both utilise the 7.62x54r cartridge.

Whilst it's likely that standard ammunition (Russian LPS, Chinese Type 53 steel core light ball, and similar types) intended for PK-pattern machine guns is used, as is very common practice among non-state groups. Whilst general purpose machine gun ammunition will not reach the accuracy of specific precision rounds (Such as the Russian 7N1 and 7N14), this does not mitigate the much improved range of the full sized rifle cartridges fired from the long barrel of SVD and PSL DMR as compared to the AK series of rifles. PSL and SVD appear to be used for in both the dedicated sniping role, but also in some circumstances are closer to a standard service rifle, as a reaction to the operating environment.

A local source unaffiliated with the insurgents hasconfirmed to the author that the SVD in particular is very popular with the fighters for it's long range abilities. The local area has a rich marksmanship tradition (Not unlike the use of the Lee-Enfield rifle in Afghanistan) which likely contributes to the rifle's popularity. The SVDs in use are typically of Russian and Iranian manufacture, and are often obtained from Afghanistan, where both the SVD and PSL are commonly found.

SVD with PSO-1 pattern optic used against a Pakistanirelief force during an assault against a Frontier Corps outpost. The fire was appears to have been effective enough to deter government forces from advancing closer.

Curiously, captured Pakistani-produced G3 rifles do not appear to be used widely, even though the ballistic properties of the 7.62x51 NATO round are comparable to that of the 7.62x54r. This is possibly down to a lack of optics mounting solutions on the the G3, and may also be a result of unreliable ammunition supply as captures rise and fall over time- in contrast 7.62x54r can be obtained reliably from Afghanistan for a low cost. (NATO-pattern ammunition can also be obtained from Afghanistan, but is less common and more expensive) G3 may also beperceived as less accurate and less reliable than alternative platforms.

4 POF-produced G3 rifles captured by BRAS, along with kit and inexpensive body armour. Note right hand example, that appears to have been pierced, possibly by a 7.62x54r round fired by a insurgent marksman.
Alongside PSL and SVD, AK-pattern rifles are also widely used, although to to a much lesser degree than DMR-type rifles in some insurgent squads. Others, possibly serving different roles, do use AK-pattern rifles for the great majority of fighters. These include AK, AK-74, AKM aswell as Type 56. In the limited available combat footage, AK pattern rifles are used primarily by militants engaging in close to medium range combat, although local sources indicate that is is uncommon compared to long range action. This is a rational choice- the AK is far more suited for this task, it has less recoil, larger standard magazine size, and is much more compact. Multiple GP-25 underbarrel grenade launchers can be seen in use with AK-pattern rifles, although combat footage has not yet shown these in use.

As the conflict in Afghanistan continues, anothersignificant platform in use by Baloch insurgents is the M16A4. This modern rifle has been supplied in large quantities by the United States to the Afghan security forces, and has since proliferated widely across the country. The M16 is valued by Taliban fighters and has been captured in large quantities in recent years. It can hence be obtained from Afghanistan in significant quantities.

Whilst the M16A2 is likely more common in Taliban captures, the M16A4 is particularly valued by Taliban fighters for it's ability to mount optics, often Thermal optics. BRAS-affiliated fighters have not yet been observed with thermal optics, but do widely carry M16A4 with Trijicon ACOG optics and M203 underbarrel grenade launchers. Other accessories common in Afghanistan can be seen, such as AN/PSQ-18-pattern M203 sights and AN/PEQ-2 ITPIAL.

Whilst M16-pattern rifles are common status weapons across South East Asia and the Middle East, often regarded as more accurate and of higher quality than Eastern bloc weapons platforms. Staged images ofindividual "Martyrs" should not be regarded as sufficent evidence of the wide adoption of M16, but evidence does exist of operational fighters carrying these rifles in notable quantities and of their use against Pakistani forces.

M16A4 with ACOG used by BRAS fighters against a Pakistani Frontier Corps outpost- February 2020
It is unclear precisley what role the M16A4 is used in by BRAS fighters, but a typical use case for many non-state groups is as a "proto-DMR" when these platforms are lacking.

Whilst BRAS does not lack DMR-type rifles, the M16A4 is a lightweight, accurate and soft shooting weapon that is certainly of use. Whilst the 5.56x45mm round does not possess the long range capabilities of 7.62x54r, it is a flatter shooting round and is likely to be sufficient from the 20" barrel of the M16A4 for use at medium range. The reliable ACOG optic is also likely to be valued in this use case. The very limited footage available of M16A4 in combat use appears to show limited numbers of these rifle used in the offensive designated marksman role by fighters, as attackers armed with AK-pattern rifles moved in towards Frontier Corps positions.

BRAS is not only armed with rifles, various machine guns are also used. These are typically PK(M) variants, as well as MG3 variants, which are captured from Pakistani Forces. The machine gun most commonly seen is the Serbian Zastava M84, which is a mildy modified variant of the Soviet PK, and can be disinguished by it's entirely solid buttstock, lacking the cutout of the original weapons. The insurgents also use NATO-standard weapons, mostly M249 LMG, although M240 are also used. These weapons, much like the M16 variants used, appear to be entirely obtained from Afghanistan.

Some heavy machine guns are also used by the insurgents, although these are rarely spotted. The Chinese QJG-89 can be seen below, although it is likely that HMG are usually mounted to pickups for their use as a technical. HMG also appear to be used at long range to harass frontier force outposts prior to an attack.

The BLA maintain weapons caches in the rugged countryside, including ammunition for various recoillless rifles

The insurgents also use RPG-7 pattern launchers, usually with OG-7V type rockets. As the group rarely faces armoured vehicles, this can be expected. Many warheads appear to be OGi-7MA warheads, an enhanced AP variant of the OG-7V manufactured in Bulgaria and supplied in large quantities by the United States to Afghan Authorities

One particularly notable aspect of the Taliban insurgency has been their use of thermal optics against government forces. This has not yet been publicly replicated in BRAS (or subgroups') media, but open source information does exist of likely ATN or Pulsar-manufactured thermal optics in the hands of the BLA. These can be purchased on the black market in Afghanistan. However, footage of these in action exists, and it is unclear if the available images may have been taken in Afghanistan.

If these thermal optics were put into use against authorities' outposts, it is likely that they would provide a similar advantage to insurgent forces that they do to Taliban forces, who usually face Afghan National Army or Police units who lack night vision capability. It appears that Pakistani Frontier Corps or militias also lack this capability.

Weapon Stocks and Sourcing
The below images have not previously been publicly available, and have been sent to the author by a individual with access to BLA weapons stocks. Note the extremely good condition of most of the materiel, all of which has been obtained from Afghanistan.

Two M249 MG (Appear to be improved "PIP" variants) and Zastava M84 in the hands of BRAS fighters
The BLA's arsenal has substancially modernised in recent years- below are multiple M240, M249, M16A4 and other weapons, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, recently obtained from Afghanistan to fuel the insurgency.

Whilst the insurgents still broadly prefer Eastern Bloc weapons, evidently if funds are available plenty of NATO-standard weapons in excellent condition can be obtained. These are typically purchased in person within Afghanistan from arms dealers, prior to transfer

Although these have not yet been spotted in action, the insurgents also have access to supplies of mortar bombs, as seen below. Mortars themselves do not appear to be common.

A strong firearms culture exists in Balochistan (as well as across Pakistan in general), so it cannot be assumed that all weapons shown in the hands of the insurgents were specifically procured- it is typical for small arms to be easily available.

Conclusions
BRAS is an organisation barely covered outside of local media and counter-terrorism study, and is a comparatively small group that has slim chance of achieving the stated goal of the organisation, as well as facing legitimacy challenges from other groups and the Baloch diaspora. However, BRAS forces have shown themselves to be capable of reasonably complex attacks against government forces, and are well armed with a variety of modern weapons.

This last aspect is the most interesting- the long wars in Afghanistan have clearly lead to spillage of modern arms across the region and beyond (Stinger MANPADS made their way to Chechnya in the 1990s, for example), and the trend continues. Many weapons from BRAS are example of the proliferation of large quantities of NATO-standard equipment into the hand of a small seperatist group as BRAS (Or sub groups, such as the BLA) is a fascinating example of the 2nd and 3rd order effects of not just the involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, but the dramatic losses and corruption of the government that the United States supports. It may also show proliferation from other parties- sources familiar with local weapons smuggling claim that many SVD rifles found in Balochistan are Russian-made models smuggled in from Iran into Afghanistan. Regardless, as Afghaninstan continues to be a melting pot of weapons flow, it also fuels other conflicts
 

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The Pictures from the the Article Part 1





BRAS fighters




SVD with PSO-1 pattern optic used against a Pakistani relief force during an assault against a Frontier Corps outpost. The fire was appears to have been effective enough to deter government forces from advancing closer.




Gathering of BRAS fighters





Fighter(s) with G3 and ACOG-pattern optic mounted. Note AKM with GP-25 UGL attached.



4 POF-produced G3 rifles captured by BRAS, along with kit and inexpensive body armour. Note right hand example, that appears to have been pierced, possibly by a 7.62x54r round fired by a insurgent marksman.




AKM-pattern rifle in use against Pakistani forces
 

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The Pictures from the the Article Part 2






Type 56 pattern rifle in use against Pakistani forces



AK-74M pattern rifle with BLA fighters. This is likely to be a copy produced in the Tribal regions of Pakistan ("Darra Adam Khel")



BLA image showing pristine M16A4, M203 and ACOG




BLA fighters who partook in the November 2018 Chinese Consulate assault with M16A4 & M203. Note Insight Technology AN/PSQ-18-pattern sight mounted to M203, plus side-mount AN/PEQ-2.
 

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The Pictures from the the Article Part 3



The BRAS fighters in the Mountains of Balochistan



Note mix of AK, PSL/SVD, M16A4 and PK pattern weapons seen in this November 2019 image



M16A4 with ACOG used by BRAS fighters against a Pakistani Frontier Corps outpost- February 2020




Baloch fighters with PKM & PK machine guns. Note PSL & M16A4



BRAS fighters with M249 & PK MG.



BLA fighters maintaining a captured MG3
GPMG



Chinese QJG-89 Heavy Machine Guns used by Pakistani Army and Pakistani Paramilitary Forces Captured by Balochi Rebels
 

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The Pictures from the the Article Part 4



Fighters with Type 65, a Chinese B-10 RCL copy



Note Type 65 RCL in centre



Baloch Resistance Army fighters with OGi-7MA, along with SVD and M16A4



BRA fighter with OG-7V type round. These are the fragmentation Rounds for the RPG.



BLA fighters with OG-7V type round. Pic 2





BLA fighters with ATN Thermal optics



Zastava M84 machine guns in the hands of BLA fighters. This PK variant is also used by Afghan Authorities.
 

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The Pictures from the the Article Part 5 Final



Two M249 MG (Appear to be improved "PIP" variants) and Zastava M84 in the hands of BRAS fighters



Note the clear QR/Barcode on the lower receiver of this FN M16A4, indicating a weapon supplied to the Afghan National Army.





BLA Weapons Stocks



From Top: Eastern Bloc 82mm Mortar bombs (Likely Bulgarian), with M720/M888 60mm HE below, 81mm HE



Chinese QJZ-89 HMG in BLA Storage



Balochi Rebels on Top of Techincals
 

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Trouble at the Pakistan-Iran Border

The Baloch-dominated border area used to be a source of cooperation for Islamabad and Tehran. What went wrong?


By Muhammad Akbar Notezai
October 30, 2018



In this July 19, 2011 file photo, a group of Iranian border guards march at the eastern border of Iran near Zabol, Sistan and Baluchestan Province.

Credit: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi
it was reported that around a dozen Iranian security personnel were kidnapped along the border with Pakistan’s Balochistan province. After that, Iran not only sought help from Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa to recover the kidnapped guards, but also fired mortar shells into a bordering town in Chaghi district called Talaap. Thankfully, there were no causalities.

It is worth mentioning that this is not the first time Iranian security personnel have been kidnapped along the border, or mortar shells have been fired into bordering towns in Balochistan province. There have been such incidents in the past, and it’s reasonable to expect more occurrences in the future.

What has gone wrong between Pakistan and Iran? Among myriad reasons, there are ethnic tensions related to the Balochs, the namesake of both Pakistan’s Balochistan and Iran’s neighboring Sistan and Baluchestan province. In a nutshell, Balochs live on both sides of the Pakistan-Iran border, and maintain cultural, political, and economic ties to each other. The Baloch factor occupies a crucial space in the overall affairs of the two countries, yet the sensitive issue is rarely discussed.

In the past, Baloch politics was largely left-oriented. In 1967, during the Cold War, Baloch nationalists founded their first leftist organization, the Baloch Students Organization (BSO). When international communism became divided due to the Sino-Soviet split, the Baloch nationalists joined the pro-Soviet camp. Under the platform of the National Awami Party (NAP), Baloch and Pakhtun progressive leaders of Pakistan formed their first democratically elected governments in Balochistan and the former North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in the early 1970s.

More than Pakistan’s prime minister at the time, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, it was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, who was severely irked by the secular nationalist government in Balochistan. There were two reasons for this.

First, Iran’s Shah was anti-communist. He feared that the Baloch secular nationalists, who had formed the provincial government in Balochistan after the general elections of 1970, were being supported by the Soviet Union. In addition, it was also the Afghan government’s policy to support Baloch nationalist groups, along with Pakhtun nationalists in Pakistan. A case in point was the Afghan government under Mohammed Daoud Khan (1973-78), who even talked of a Greater Balochistan.

Second, the Shah of Iran also feared that Baloch nationalism would spill over into Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province. In the 1970s, just like the Balochs in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, Balochs in Iran were also secular nationalists. As the Shah of Iran was afraid of Baloch nationalism, Islamabad and Tehran together looked at the Baloch question as a common challenge — albeit only in military and security terms. That is why they, to a great extent, succeeded in crushing Baloch nationalism militarily throughout the 1970s. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, for example, ousted the provincial government of the NAP in Balochistan in 1973.

Today Pakistan-Iran cooperation is being replaced by competition. One of the most conspicuous points of competition is over their twin ports in the two Baloch territories: Gwadar in Pakistan and Chabahar in Iran. Although officially Pakistan and Iran call these ports “sisters” that can together change the fate of the whole region, in reality, there is a cut-throat competition between these two ports. Pakistan and Iran are eagerly developing their separate ports with the involvement of China and India, respectively.

Adding to the tensions, the long-standing rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran has currently taken an uglier turn. Pakistan in general and Balochs in particular have been victims of the Iran-Saudi tensions. In this context, Iran has accused Pakistan of giving refuge to Saudi-sponsored jihadi Baloch militants, who allegedly carry out attacks on both Iranian security forces in the border region and state installations inside Iran. Pakistan has vehemently denied these charges time and again.

In response to these new development, Iran has now become soft on its old adversaries: Baloch nationalists. In recent years, although Iran and Baloch nationalists do not trust each other, they have allied themselves temporarily — so much so that Iran now thinks of Baloch nationalists as its best hope against a joint Gulf-Pakistan alliance. As for Baloch nationalists, they are desperate, and have also stretched out their hand to Iran. For instance, in the recent past, news circulated on social media that a Baloch separatist organization in the border area of Makran division had handed over to Iran three members of the Jaish ul-Adl (Army of Justice) group, a Sunni Baloch militant group fighting against Iran.

Balochistan can either be a source of tension or (preferably) a reason for Pakistan and Iran to agree to work together toward peace in this troubled region. As Balochs live on both sides of the border, in reality there cannot be an “Iranian solution” or a “Pakistani solution” to the Baloch question. Even if one side of the border is stabilized, instability from the other side will invariably spill over. So, in this context, Islamabad and Tehran need to look at the Baloch issue as a common challenge.

But in doing so, both governments need to look beyond the military and security facet of the Baloch problem. Economic development and better political representation in both Islamabad and Tehran for Baloch from both sides of the border have to be part of the process.

The other alternative is what we are seeing to date: the two countries can use the Baloch region to engage in a tit-for-tat, zero sum geopolitical competition by letting other actors (such as India and the Gulf States) get involved. This has only made matters worse.

It is in the best interest of the two countries to mutually resolve their issues, so that peace may return to region. Otherwise, instability on the border region will soon reach a boiling point.
 

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The Baloch Conflict with Iran and Pakistan
Taj Baloch April 2, 2017
Reading club's blog

The Baloch owns a huge and rich land on the joint of Central Asia, South Asia and Middle East. It is sandwiched between the Shiite Muslim state of Iran and the Sunni Muslim state of Pakistan.

The people of Balochistan have been, since centuries, competing with ideological states with their own social values as the only tool of resistance. The Islamist ideology, which has transformed individuals into moving bombs in the region, has failed to mould the fundamentally secular fabric of Baloch society.

How come the Baloch, one of the least educated and least developed people in the world, with a very small population, has so far successfully retained their values? Or, why, with all their survivalist potency, they have failed to organize themselves into a victorious nation against its rivals. Naseer Dashti’s latest book, The Baloch Conflict with Iran and Pakistan, strives to handle these questions.

Dashti takes you thousands of years back to an early point when the Baloch were not even referred to as Baloch, and then brings you back to contemporary Balochistan, a land divided into multiple pieces, taking into account the whole journey, bit by bit.

The Baloch Conflict with Iran and Pakistan is a narrative of a nation. It is the story of a nation’s quest for nationhood. The book contains detailed accounts of almost every individual organization that has played any role for or against this quest. At the same time, it describes the collective character of the Baloch people.

It covers a period of over 5000 years to examine this journey, with all its bits and pieces. The book starts with the development of Baloch identity. Then it comes to the abode of the nation, called Balochistan, marking its natural and cultural borders and separating it from its neighbors. It scans the regional and international politics in the region; puts the time marker on the divided Balochistan and brings forth the details of the vast geography of Balochistan.

It discusses the rise and falls of every episode of the Baloch national movement, which started before thousands of years and continues till today. It starts with ‘Baloch and Balochistan in context’ and ends with ‘The Baloch national question is waiting for a just resolution’.

Amidst these chapters, the book chronicles stories of the Baloch heroes, who are dubbed as traitors by Iran and Pakistan, and the collaborators of Iran and Pakistan whom the Baloch see as traitors.

The book reads like a novel. My plan was to read it in leisure, maybe one chapter a day. But when I started the book, I was stuck with its story. I kept reading or thinking about it all the time – in my language classes, at the university, during my human rights activities and political discussions.

At the end of every chapter, I wanted to read the next one out of the curiosity of knowing what happens next. It seems to have a plot. Its protagonist is named Baloch. As you keep reading, you get acquainted with his emotions, weaknesses, deprivations, desires, failures and aspirations.

I wondered how the politics of Germany, France, Britain, Soviet Union and America has affected the Baloch. How international politics has changed the life of a nation, who have been totally cut off from the world.

You might find a lot of things to disagree with in the book. I did too. But no one has told this story of a forgotten people ever before.
 

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Inside Iran’s Most Secretive Region

Sistan and Balochistan has been described as akin to Mars on Earth. For all the attention they get from Tehran, many Baloch feel they may as well be on another planet.
May 16, 2011

The problem for Balochs is that they are Sunni Muslims in a Shiite-ruled nation. ‘The Islamic Shiite missionaries sent by Tehran told us that we’d have no jobs, no schools and no opportunities unless we converted,’ says Faiz Baloch, one of thousands of Baloch refugees who were forced to leave their homeland.

Now based in Britain, Faiz recounts the incident 10 years ago that he says was the last straw in pushing him out. ‘(I had) a heated discussion with two Islamic Guards. They raided our home and wanted to arrest me,’ he says. ‘I managed to escape, but they took my father instead. That was the last time I saw or heard from him.’ Faiz says he believes it likely his father was hanged soon after he was detained.

According to figures from Amnesty International, Iran executed at least 1,481 people from 2004 to 2009, with the London-based International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons claiming that about 55 percent of these were Baloch. The organization claims that the Baloch in Iran have endured the highest concentration of death penalties handed down as a percentage of population in the world for nearly a decade under the

‘Eighty years ago, this area was called “Balochistan.” Later it became “Balochistan and Sistan” and today it’s “Sistan and Balochistan”…we all think that before too long it will just be called “Sistan,”’ remarks a taxi driver as he steers his way along the grid-like streets of Zahedan.

Once known as ‘Duzzap’, the provincial capital of Zahedan was renamed by the Pahlavi rulers. The demographic balance in this south-eastern city has tilted in favour of the newcomers and local Baloch complain that they’ve now been excluded from the economic, political, administrative, military and cultural affairs in their homeland.

The most distinctive physical features of the city are the two slender golden minarets of the Jamia mosque, the city’s most prominent Shiite shrine. But in July 2010, the mosque suffered a twin suicide bomb attack that claimed the lives of at least 27 people, and injured hundreds more.

Not far away here, Rasool has been running a photo studio for almost 30 years. Many Persians like Rasool moved here in the hope of finding work. But now in his 60s, Rasool grumbles about the deterioration of the security situation over the past five years.

‘There’s just such uncertainty here,’ complains Rasool, who says he doesn’t know whether he will retire in Zahedan or eventually move back to his hometown of Shiraz.
About 1,500 kilometres south-east of Tehran, the wind whistles noisily through the dried palm trees of the city of Iranshahr, which sits in one of the hottest parts of the country.

‘There’s no cinema and no theatre here. Tehran spends billions funding Hizbollah in Lebanon, the Syrians, the Shiites in Iraq, the Taliban,’ says Rahim, a young looking man standing across from a billboard bearing the face of Ayatollah Khomeini. ‘But nothing ever arrives here.’

Like most Baloch here, Rahim wears traditional Baloch clothes consistingof a shalwar kameez—the baggy shirt and trousers worn frequently in Afghanistan and on the Indian subcontinent, but which only the Baloch wear in Iran. Indeed, this local style of clothing is the only visible indicator of Baloch identity that is allowed here—other symbols are expressly forbidden, while writing exclusively in the Baloch language is regarded as a criminal offence. Only the bravest Baloch in the area will boast a picture on their cell phones of Baloch leaders from across the border, such as the late Balaach Marri, or local notables such as Abdul-Malik Rigi, Jundallah’s former ringleader.

Rigi, believed to have been in his late 20s, was executed last June after being held in Iran. He was either captured in Kandahar before being handed over by Pakistani authorities, or detained in Persian Gulf waters when travelling on a plane via Dubai, depending on the news source you believe.

Travelling from Iranshahr to the deepwater port city of Chabahar by bus takes about five hours. The monotony of the journey is briefly interrupted by a mandatory stop to pray. The prayer posts are purpose-built, rudimentary mosques in the middle of the desert. A suicide attack in the city by Jundallah in December was yet another reminder of the tensions that periodically rip violently through the region. About 40 Shiite worshippers were killed as they were celebrating the Ashura, one of Shia Islam’s main religious events.

‘Our problems aren’t only due to the fact that we are neither Persian nor Shia,’ says Abdul-Sattar, who like most people here, is Sunni. The 50 year-old says he survives on the goods (mainly Chinese and Indian) he transports with his truck up to the Afghan border, almost 1,000 kilometres away. ‘Perhaps we were just born in the wrong place and the wrong time.’
 

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Iran meddling in Baloch freedom Movement
Friday, December 15th, 2017 02:19 pm


By Shahdad Baloch

After series of interferences in the Middle East, now Iran has opted the policy of diluting the Baloch struggle for an independent homeland through her notorious ‘proxy war’ doctrine. The most recent development was witnessed after the Kurdistan referendum, where Iranian revolutionary guards backed Iraqi forces in their attempt to sabotage the demand of Kurdish people for an independent state. Thus, Iran has opted the policy of brutal use of force against the Kurds because the Iranian regime is afraid of any upheaval from the people of Iranian occupied Kurdistan. Likewise, Iran is facing a critical threat from the ongoing resistance of the Baloch nation in Pakistani occupied Balochistan, the success of which might disrupt the colonialism of Iran and her current geographical existence.

Today the world is witnessing the meddling of Iran in the affairs of countries, where proxies are launched to play havoc with any doctrine that might hurt the religious and geopolitical interests of Iran. The support of Houthi tribe in Yemen and the killing of Abdullah Saleh through Iranian backed proxies are clear examples of Iranian interference in the affairs of other nations. Abdullah Saleh preferred negotiation and opened a platform for political dialogue, which was indigestible for Iran, who then faced the ultimate assassination just because Iran rendered Abdullah Saleh as obsolete. similarly, in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon the policy of Iran is quite clear and pessimistic for the Middle East and rest of the world.

Concurrently, Iran is playing the same game with some factions within the Balochistan liberation movement, but with different tactics which would be horrific for Baloch national sustainability, if the matter is not understood and resolved immediately. The policy of Iran towards Baloch liberation movement is solely based on enmity, means Iran is unwilling to support pro-freedom Baloch patriots politically but is up for military support with the doctrine that Baloch talk about Iranian occupied Balochistan. The Iranians first named Balochistan as Sistan because they didn’t like the word Balochistan but later changed it to Sistan and Balochistan. Currently, the Iranian regime is implementing its plan to remove the name of Balochistan and divide the Iranian occupied Balochistan into three different territories. Inside sources say they initially plan to name it Sistan, Walayat and Zabul but the eventual plan is to merge different chunks of Balochistan with other provinces of Iran. Iran occupied Western Part of Balochistan after the British attacked Balochistan in 1839 and later divided united Balochistan into three different parts.

IRAN-PAKISTAN NEXUS IN CONTEXT OF BALOCHISTAN

Iran was the first country throughout the world that recognised the carving out of Pakistan as an independent state in 1947. Iran also did not retaliate during the 1948 forcible and illegal annexation of sovereign Balochistan by Pakistan. The Pakistani army penetrated on the soil of Balochistan with heavy tanks and military equipment, Iran did not declare Pakistan’s that move as illegal and threat to the Iranian so-called sovereignty, despite witnessing the expansionist policy of Pakistan in 1948. But today the dynamics of Iran-Pakistan relation are at different poles which are in fact delusion based political tactics to sabotage the freedom movement of Balochistan. Iran and Pakistan have kept themselves on different poles just to show the world that there is contradiction between Tehran and Islamabad on the politics of Middle East, but in real picturesque of politico-social affairs it is the ‘camouflage’ tactics being operated against Baloch nation – the planned strategy to sandwich Baloch nation between Iran and Pakistan so that both could easily eradicate the freedom fighters of Balochistan within a single pinch and dilute the global attention against politics of Baloch nation.

The first round of which was a mutual agreement between Iran and Pakistan to convert the decade and more long arm resistance of Balochistan into Iranian proxy on terms and regulations which are both financial and political. The evidence of the camouflage tactics could easily be observed in the case of Taliban leader Mullah Mansoor Akhtar who dwelled in the territory of Iran with the passport of Pakistan so that Iran could easily provide ease to Pakistan against the growing pressure of the United States of America. Likewise, the military leader of Jundullah a resistance faction against the Iranian regime, whose leader Abdul Malik Reki was arrested, with the help of information that Pakistani intelligence agencies provided to Iran, on his travel from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan in 2010.

Mr Reki initially led a Sunni resistance group that demanded equal rights for Baloch who are mainly Sunni Muslim in a Shiite dominated Iran. Reki’s group enjoyed a good conditional support from Pakistan but when he got inspired by the nationalist resistance movement in Pakistani occupied Balochistan, he changed his manifesto from a religious fight to nationalist resistance. Soon after the change of his manifesto, he became a bargaining chip between Pakistan and Iran’s clandestine diplomatic relation against Baloch nation, based on scepticism and delusion.

The interests of both Iran and Pakistan in the occupied territories of Balochistan are common, based on resources, coastal belts and vast territory of Balochistan. Then how could one be in the genuine position to claim that Iran will support the Baloch resistance movement in Pakistan occupied Balochistan? Iran may only give some relaxation to a certain fraction of Baloch liberation movement so to create mistrust and misunderstanding between the pro-freedom forces in occupied Balochistan.

HOW DOES BALOCH NATION SEE IRAN GROWING INTERFERENCE IN BALOCH LIBERATION MOVEMENT?

Today the Baloch liberation movement is divided into three main factions – the common Baloch and the politico-military resistance for the liberation of Balochistan. The former is unanimous regarding the occupation of Balochistan under Iran and Pakistan that’s why they are being killed on regular basis, yet thousands of innocent Baloch are either hanged by the Iranian regime in the name of drug trafficking or killed and dumped by the Pakistani military in a different manner. While the politico-military faction in the contemporary age is being witnessed on two different and contradictory poles in their support to Iran or Pakistan. On both sides, there is evidence that some Baloch in Iranian occupied Balochistan are working as proxies of Pakistan in the name of religious factionalism – Sunnis fighting against Shias regime whereas few in Pakistan occupied Balochistan enjoy the Iranian support against Pakistan in the name of liberation of Balochistan. The common Baloch on both sides is witnessing the fact that gradually the purity of Baloch resistance movement is being diverted by Iranian doctrine of proxy war.

This ‘divide and rule than crush policy’ is understood by every ordinary Baloch in occupied territories of Balochistan. Pakistan wants Iran to raise timely support to the military resistance of Pakistani based occupied Balochistan because during the decade and more war, Pakistan has witnessed series of failures in their war against Baloch freedom fighters. Pakistan is aware of the fact that Iran is globally and regionally not being welcomed by the world powers, thereby rendering Baloch liberation movement to be the proxy of Iran, is in Pakistan’s favour in the long run – the policy of detachment of any international support for the success of liberation movement of Balochistan.

HAYRBYAR MARRI’S TIMELY ATTEMPT TO FOIL THE PRE-PLANNED STRATEGY OF IRAN AND PAKISTAN

Mr Hyrbyair Marri has clear stance on both Iran and Pakistan since decades. His political doctrine is clear that the world should help Baloch nation in their demand for restoration of Balochistan’s freedom on the 1839 geographical position. During the time of nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, Mr Marri didn’t compromise over his position despite the fact that America was the author of the deal who was backed by rest of the world powers. There is a popular saying of Mr Marri on Iran nuclear that “Today the world has officially given the keys of the gates of hell to Iran. This day would be remembered as a dark day.” The approach of Hyrbyair Marri is worth-meaning from the day when the president of USA Mr Donald trump ceased the nuclear deal. Despite the global support of Iran Mr Marri was alone to stand up against the world powers and muster up the courage to criticize the entire international community who supported the deal. Such a courageous stance showed his leadership quality that he has been the protector of Baloch interests rather than compromising over the territories of Balochistan.

Concurrently, when some factions within the Baloch nationalistic movement showed their inclination towards the support of Iran, Mr Marri interrupted and grasp well the evil designs of Iran and Pakistan against Baloch resistance movement and called the Iran support as a policy of ‘bargaining chip’ to open an easy way for Pakistan against any imminent threat. In a statement Mr Marri said that: “The occupying state of Iran and Pakistan have always closely cooperated against the Baloch national cause in order to counter and eliminate the Baloch freedom struggle.”

He further added that; “Both states have adopted dangerous policies against the Baloch national struggle. both occupying states through their infamous intelligence agencies are trying to pit-pro freedom organizations against each other on both sides of occupied Balochistan. In some places they succeeded in other, their evil designs have failed.”

The credibility of this statement is witnessed when both Pakistan and Iran came in front to disrupt the strong fabrics of Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and wanted to drag it in Iranian proxy doctrine through using several tactics which were plotted by Iran with the support of some segments within the liberation movement of Balochistan.

Since Mr Marri foiled the Iran evil design several conspiracies are hatched to bring Baloch Liberation Army under the influence of Iran but this attempt was miserably failed when the high command of the Baloch Liberation Army issued a statement and cleared its stance.

BALOCH LIBERATION ARMY STANCE OVER IRANIAN OCCUPIED BALOCHISTAN

In a fresh statement, the BLA high command declared Mr Azad Baloch as the only spokesperson of Baloch Liberation Army. It was clear before the Baloch nation and international arena that BLA would denounce any such step which dilutes its credibility ratio among the Baloch nation and called out that Iran is using all recourses to create a schism within the BLA through her proxy doctrine. The Baloch Liberation Army is well aware of the Iran-Pakistan nexus against the Baloch nation. Under the military doctrine and any imminent threat, Baloch Liberation Army high command has suspended the other two spokespersons, Jeeand and Meerak Baloch, of BLA keeping in view the sensitivity of growing influence of Iranian proxy war doctrine in the region.

BLA being the architect of rest of military organisations of Balochistan freedom movement has raised the slogan that Baloch nation would never step down from the demand of Iranian occupied Balochistan and called for a unanimous approach to mitigate the growing influence of Iran in meddling the affairs of Balochistan freedom movement.

CONCLUSION

Keeping in view the current socio-political developments in the region Baloch nation is witnessing three main flanks which are deterrent against the Iran-Pakistan clandestine and backdoor diplomacy. Firstly, Baloch nation means the common Baloch are unanimous in their demand for freedom of Balochistan under Iran and Pakistan occupation.

Secondly, the opinion leader is pivotal under such complex political situation. Mr Hyrbyair Marri has emerged as a great opinion leader to build the narrative that being the head of free Balochistan movement and holding the mandate of Baloch nation abroad is in non-compromising nature regarding Iranian occupied Balochistan and assured the nation and international arena that Baloch will not surrender from their demand of restoration of Balochistan as per 1839 borders.

Thirdly, Baloch liberation army high command Mr Azad Baloch has also cleared that BLA being the army of the Baloch nation will not support any proxy doctrine from Iran or any other regional and international power. This reveals that despite many hurdles Baloch nation, Baloch leadership and the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) with Azad Baloch as its only spokesman, are committed to protecting the Baloch national interests at any cost. Thus, the Baloch nation is optimistic that in near future like Hyrbyair Marri and Baloch Liberation Army the rest of Baloch freedom seekers foil the attempt of Iranian evil designs in diluting Baloch cause, which is hands and gloves with Pakistan to derail and finally sabotage the liberation movement of Balochistan.
 
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Lancer

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It's probably hard to track, but do we have any way of knowing how the insurgency is progressing? With our increased presence in AFG, we should probably be getting in touch with them and helping them w/ supplies, training etc.

Due to severe Paki oppression + Chinese projects in the region - that conflict is likely time sensitive.
 
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MIDKNIGHT FENERIR-00

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It's probably hard to track, but do we have any way of knowing how the insurgency is progressing? With our increased presence in AFG, we should probably be getting in touch with them and helping them w/ supplies, training etc.

Due to severe Paki oppression + Chinese projects in the region - that conflict is likely time sensitive.
I mean we can track how the conflict is going from our installations in Iranian Balochistan. I am sure India already has contacts with the Balochi Freedom Fighters operating against Pakistani Occupation Forces. India supplies them through Afghan NDS.
 
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Lancer

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I mean we can track how the conflict is going from our installations in Iranian Balochistan. I am sure India already has contacts with the Balochi Freedom Fighters operating against Pakistani Occupation Forces. India supplies them through Afghan NDS.
Yes, but I hope they ramp it up; naturally once it progresses, we'll start seeing much more impact through material online.
 

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