'Killed' leader of Baloch fighters appears in new video | News | Al Jazeera

'Killed' leader of Baloch fighters appears in new video

Allah Nazar appears in video denying government claims he was killed in August and vowing to continue separatist fight.

    'Killed' leader of Baloch fighters appears in new video
    Nazar appeared in the video sitting next to an automatic rifle and wearing an ammunition belt [Vimeo screen shot]

    Baloch separatist fighters in Pakistan have released a video purporting to show their leader - who the Pakistani government believed it had killed in a raid in August - is alive.

    Allah Nazar Baloch, the head of the Baluch Liberation Front (BLF), appeared in a video released on Thursday, denying all claims about his death and vowing to continue to fight.

    "For quite some time the government has been issuing propaganda about my death. This is a blatant lie," said Nazar, who appeared in the video sitting next to an automatic rifle and wearing an ammunition belt.


    Related: From rallies to armed resistance in Balochistan


    The date of the video released by the BLF could not be independently verified, but the group's spokesman Miran Baloch said it was shot in Balochistan in November.

    Two independent sources who have had contact with Nazar, who has been in hiding for years, confirmed it was him in the video, although they did not know when it was filmed.

    The BLF is one of several separatist groups that have been fighting against government forces in the mineral-rich Balochistan province for almost a decade.

    "We have not seen the video so we cannot comment on it," said Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti.

    In September, Bugti said the government believed Nazar had been killed in a military operation in Awaran district in August.

    Violent campaign

    Balochistan is the poorest and least developed Pakistani province, and separatists have been demanding an end to what they say is the exploitation of gas and mineral resources by other parts of Pakistan.

    The violent campaign in the southwestern province poses a threat to China's planned $46bn Pakistani economic corridor, which culminates in the province's Gwadar port.


    Related: Should the US support an independent Balochistan?


    The rebels have carried out frequent kidnappings and bombings against government and security targets, including gas pipelines and other infrastructure.

    Human rights groups say the military has carried out a campaign of kidnapping, torture and extrajudicial killings of suspected separatists.

    In the video, Nazar denounced the Pakistani military intelligence services and the provincial government.

    "They've turned Balochistan into a slaughterhouse. And the Baloch nation will hold these perpetrators accountable for each and every drop of Baloch martyr's blood," said Nazar, speaking in the Balochi language.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    How has the international arms trade exacerbated conflict in the Middle East? People and Power investigates.

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.