Pakistan army says top Balochistan separatist leader arrested

Gulzar Imam, a ‘high-value target’ according to the military, is the founder and leader of the banned Baloch Nationalist Army.


Pakistan’s top intelligence agency has arrested a “high-value target” in an operation against a Baloch rebel group in the country’s southwest, the army said.

The military statement on Friday said Gulzar Imam, also known by the name Shambay, is the founder and leader of the banned Baloch Nationalist Army.

An umbrella group for Baloch rebels, the BNA was formed after two main groups merged: the Baloch Republican Army and United Baloch Army.

The army said the BNA had been involved in dozens of “terrorist” attacks in the country, including those on security forces.

The military’s media wing said Shambay’s visits to India and Afghanistan were on record and his suspected links with hostile intelligence agencies are being investigated.

The military said the arrest was made possible after a months-long intelligence effort, but did not provide further details.

The gas-rich southwestern Balochistan province at the border of Afghanistan and Iran has been a scene of rebellion by Baloch separatists for more than 20 years.

Baloch nationalists initially wanted a share of the provincial resources, but later they initiated a movement for complete independence.

Source: News Agencies