Pakistan opposes Baloch leader Brahamdagh’s plea seeking asylum in Switzerland

March 31st, 2011 - 1:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Mar 31(ANI): Pakistan has strongly opposed a plea by Baloch separatist leader Brahamdagh Bugti for political asylum in Switzerland, it has been learnt.

The Foreign Ministry has conveyed its reservations on Brahamdagh’s move to the Swiss mission in Islamabad, The Express Tribune quoted official sources, as saying.

Pakistan has also told its Ambassador in Berne to take up the issue with the Swiss authorities.

On a formal request from the Balochistan government, the Interior Ministry had asked the Foreign Ministry to oppose the asylum request by Brahamdagh, a grandson of the slain Bugti chieftain Nawab Akbar Bugti.

The Swiss authorities have been informed that the secessionist leader is wanted by Pakistan on charges of anti-state activities in the country.

Brahamdagh, who secretly flew to Switzerland from Kabul along with his family and two associates in 2010, had submitted the application for political asylum early this year.

“Apparently Islamabad is opposed to Brahamdagh’s plea, but at the same time it is satisfied that he will not be able to stoke the Baloch insurgency from Switzerland,” a government source was quoted as saying.

“For this reason we are not demanding his extradition,” he added.

Pakistan had repeatedly said that Brahamdagh was hiding in Kabul, from where he had been spearheading the Baloch insurgency, and the matter was taken up with Afghan President Hamid Karzai during his last visit to Islamabad.

Karzai had reportedly promised to look into the matter, and “under mounting pressure from the Pakistan government, Brahamdagh was forced by the Afghan government to leave the country,” the source said.

However, Brahamdagh’s supporters in Quetta claim that he left Afghanistan following reports that Pakistani agencies had hired an Afghan journalist to assassinate him in Kabul.

If the Swiss government accepts his plea, Brahamdagh will be the third Baloch nationalist leader to get political asylum in Europe.

Earlier, Britain had granted asylum to Baloch leader Hyrbyair Marri, and another Baloch nationalist, Prince Salman of Qalat, who set up ‘Government of Balochistan in exile’ in Britain. (ANI)

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