Switzerland turns down Brahamdagh Bugti’s asylum plea

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has expressed gratitude to the Swiss government for turning down a political asylum plea submitted by self-exiled Baloch separatist leader Brahamdagh Bugti on Friday.

The chief of the outlawed Baloch Republican Party (BRP) sought asylum in Switzerland on February 2, 2011 following the death of Baloch chieftains Nawab Akbar Bugti and Balach Marri.

“We are satisfied that the Swiss authorities accepted our stance over Baloch insurgency in Pakistan,” Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani said on Saturday.

Brahamdagh Bugti left the country nine years ago when his grandfather Akbar Bugti was killed in a military raid, accusing the then Musharraf regime of attempting to kill him as well.

‘’Now the chief commander of BRP has no option but to have meaningful dialogue with Pakistan,” Durrani said.

Pakistan, while contesting Bugti’s request for a political asylum in Switzerland, had constantly maintained that he was responsible for several acts of subversion and terrorism causing deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians and security forces in Balochistan and other parts of the country in the recent years.

Balochistan former chief minister Dr Abdul Malik had attended a series of talks with the separatist leader in Switzerland but without substantial progress till last month.

According to official sources, Islamabad had already rejected Bugti’s plea that Pakistan Army should be made part of the peace talks.

“He [Brahamdagh Bugti] will have to surrender before the Pakistan’s law and Constitution as he is still in a state of war with Pakistan,” an official had said.

On November 17, the separatist leader issued an appeal for unity among all Baloch insurgent groups, inviting all parties – particularly those rebel groups whose leaders are in exile – to bury their hatchet.

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