BLA issues one-week ultimatum to Pakistan military for prisoner swap

sangar publication

 - 30 Oct, 2022 at 7:19 am

The Baloch Liberation Army has issued a one-week ultimatum to the Pakistani authorities for prisoner swap negotiations, warning that the prisoners would be promptly executed if the talks do not take place.

BLA claims its fighters had cornered two Pakistani agents – Kaleem Ullah and Muhammad Faisal Basheer – in an intelligence-based operation in the Harnai district of Balochistan. The two prisoners were brought before the “Baloch national court” where the BLA senior command unanimously decided that by following the international laws of war, as enshrined in the Third Geneva Convention, the two prisoners would be swapped with the Pakistani state for detained Baloch political activists.

The BLA expressed its willingness to engage in prisoner swap negotiations with the Pakistani state in the presence of international arbiters but warned that if the Pakistani state resorted to violence and aggression to free its prisoners, BLA would promptly execute them in its defence.

BLA said the Pakistani authorities are showing a lack of seriousness towards the negotiations. In the past three weeks, the Pakistani state has deliberately slowed the negotiation process down to a snail’s pace. In the meantime, the security forces are constantly trying to discover our hideouts. BLA warned that in these circumstances, it would be compelled to execute the two prisoners.

BLA said Pakistani authorities’ lack of seriousness and sincerity towards the prisoner swap talks explicitly shows that they do not care about their agents. They are capitalizing on our ultimatum to formulate a strategy to hunt us down, and Quetta Corps Commander Asif Ghafoor has personally visited the areas to oversee the preparations, BLA claimed.

BLA said its senior command has decided to issue a final one-week ultimatum to the Pakistani authorities for prisoner swap negotiations. If the Pakistani state does not take this seriously, BLA would be forced to execute the two prisoners in self-defence, the group warned.

It should be noted that in addition to the photos, BLA also released a video of the two prisoners. Flanked by BLA fighters on three sides, the prisoners can be heard stating their names and duties as Pakistani intelligence agents. The two prisoners appeal to their families to go out on the streets in protest and force the Pakistani authorities to sit down with BLA at the negotiation tables.

One of the prisoners, Kaleem Ullah, pleads with his father to tell his younger brother to leave the military and return home.

On October 11, scores of people took to the streets in Pattoki, a small city in Punjab’s Kasur district, to protest for the safe release of Faisal Basheer, one of the prisoners detained by BLA. The family members of the detainee entreated the Pakistani authorities to negotiate the release of Faisal Basheer, but the authorities have made no effort so far.