Brahamdagh mulls new destination after Swiss snub

LAHORE: Brahamdagh Bugti will move to some country which does not have extradition treaty with Pakistan or where it is easier to get political asylum if he failed in securing political refuge in Switzerland, Baloch separatist leaders close to the development told The Nation yesterday.
An earlier asylum application filed by the chief of the so-called Balochistan Republican Army (BRA) had been turned down by the Swiss authorities and he now intends to file a review appeal.
Reportedly, Pakistan had requested the Swiss authorities to keep in view the insurgent actions of the BRA on Pakistan soil while deciding the asylum application of Mr Bugti. The militant outfit had been placed by the interior ministry on the list of 60 terrorist organisations.
Switzerland is among the countries with which Pakistan has in contract of extradition.
To avert arrest and his eventual extradition to Pakistan, the BRA chief would move to some other suitable place if the Swiss authorities turned down his review appeal as well, said some Baloch separatist leaders.
“I would like to say to my colleagues, party activists and my Baloch nation that they should not worry about the news regarding my asylum,” Mr Bugti said in a brief statement. And, he did not reject the reports that his Swiss authorities have turned down his application for political asylum.
Baloch separatist leaders said the grandson of late Nawab Akbar Bugti fears that Pakistan’s powerful security services would demand his extradition from Swiss authorities if he fails to get political asylum even through a review appeal.
“Mr Bugti’s options concerning the new station include South Africa, Norway, Britain, Germany, Kenya, Tunis, France or a certain South American state. He has also in mind Oman, Qatar and Bahrain which find a bond with the Baolchs because of their heavy presence in their security services,” they added.
The Nation tried to reach Sher Muhammad Bugti, spokesman of Brahamdagh Bugti in Switzerland, but he did not reply to questions sent to him about news of rejection of BRA chief’s asylum plea, his possible new destination and whether the banned outfit was currently engaged in indirect talks with the state of Pakistan.
Brahamdagh had left for Afghanistan shortly after his grandfather Nawab Akbar Bugti’s death, in a security forces raid nine years ago, to lead an insurgency against the state. He secured refuge in Afghanistan despite Pakistan’s request for his return and later shifted to Switzerland in 2010 along with his family.
In August last year he announced for the first time his willingness to hold peace negotiations with the Pakistan government.
But he demanded talks directly with military establishment as he thought that political leadership was powerless to strike a deal with him. He wanted fully empowered government figures, like National Security Adviser Lt-Gen (r) Nasir Khan Janjua to negotiate with him if no senior serving officer could be engaged for this purpose.

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