BLA says ready for prisoner swap talks with Pakistan army

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Baloch “pro-independence” group BLA on Wednesday has said it’s ready to engage in prisoner swap with Pakistani military.

According to a statement released to the media by the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), that the group is ready to swap prisoners with Pakistan army. The statement read that the Senior Command Council of BLA has approved that in abidance with international conventions and established norms of the war, a process of prisoner swap can be initiated with Pakistani military.

As per reports, earlier on 25th September 2022, BLA’s special force Special Tactical Operations Squad (STOS) reportedly carried out an intelligence-based operation near Zardaalo in Harnai. In the said operation an official of Pakistan’s military intelligence and a JCO of Pakistani military were apprehended by the group. While, BLA’s statement on Wednesday expresses willingness to release detained Pakistan Army officials in exchange of Baloch political prisoners.

In the statement, the spokesperson for the group, Jeeyand Baloch has revealed details of their operation on September 25.

It is pertinent to mention that the group had claimed to have shot down one of the Pakistan Army’s helicopters engaged in the rescue operation for the officials detained by BLA. The news of the helicopter crash was also confirmed by the Pakistan army. But the army said the crash was due to a technical issue. In the crash, all six army officials on board were killed.

Jeeyand Baloch further stated that the detainee JCO Kaleem Ullah has confirmed that he has been stationed in Sibbi and adjoining areas for last 19 years. He has been directly involved, and has led his troops, in more than a dozen military operations in the area against innocent civilians and Baloch forces. He has admitted various war crimes, including torturing Baloch youth and women detainees, the spokesperson added.

According to Jeeyand Baloch, the other detainee, Military intelligence officer Mohammad Faisal has maintained that he was summoned and assigned this particular operation. “He has acknowledged that he has participated in multiple such operations in Sindh & Balochistan in the past”, Baloch said. He stated that “after voluntary confessions, both detainees have been formally charged for their crimes by Baloch national court.”

“However, as a professional and responsible military, Baloch Liberation Army’s Senior Command Council has now given approval for a prisoner swap engagement with Pakistani military. BLA abides by international conventions and established war norms. As a responsible national force of Baloch nation, BLA will continue to follow all laws and norms of the civilised world,” statement reads.

BLA spokesman concluded the statement saying that BLA is willing to release both detainees, in exchange of release of Baloch prisoners. “However, if Pakistani forces showed any aggression in this regard then BLA will deliver immediate sentence to both detainees awarded by the Baloch national court”.


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