The United States has announced its decision to declare the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) as a global terrorist organization. The move has come as a significant development for Pakistan which has long been describing BLA as a threat to Pakistan’s peace and stability and was making such a demand for a long time.
The US State Department in an issued statement said that BLA is an armed separatist group which targets security forces and civilians in the Baloch segment areas of Pakistan. The statement added that BLA has carried out many terrorist attacks in the previous year and therefore it is deemed fit to be declared a terrorist organization.
Pakistan has issued a statement welcoming the move and has said that they are hopeful that the latest move by the US would ensure that BLA’s operational space gets minimized. The development has come ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the United States. PM Imran Khan will be undertaking his US trip from July 20 and hence this move is being seen as a positive gesture from the US side ahead of Imran Khan’s visit.
Pakistan had declared BLA as a terrorist group way back in 2006 and since then was highlighting it as a threat to Pakistan’s internal security. The move is also being seen by some of the analysts as a positive gesture towards Pakistan for its role in facilitating talks between the US and Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan has been seen in the role of a mediator in Afghanistan talks and peace process.