Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday congratulated ISI for carrying out a brilliant operation that resulted in the arrest of the leader of Baloch National Army (BNA).
Taking to Twitter, Shehbaz Sharif said, “Heartfelt felicitations to ISI for carrying out a brilliant operation that resulted in the arrest of BNA’s founder. This operation speaks of outstanding professionalism of our institutions. The arrest will help suppress militancy in Balochistan & usher in a new era of peace,”.
The capture of Gulzar Imam, a “hardcore militant” and founder of the banned Baloch National Army (BNA), is a significant development in Pakistan’s fight against terrorism.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has reported that Imam was captured in a sophisticated and meticulously executed operation after several months. The individual, considered a “high-value target,” is suspected of having ties to hostile intelligence agencies operating against Pakistan.
The ISPR’s statement does not disclose the exact location where Imam was apprehended. However, the military’s success in capturing a high-profile militant leader of such a stature speaks volumes about the capabilities and resolve of the country’s law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to uproot the menace of terrorism.
Imam’s capture comes at a critical juncture when Pakistan is facing a deteriorating law and order situation. Over the past few months, terrorist groups have executed attacks with near impunity across the country, targeting law enforcement agencies, security forces, and civilians alike.
At least 44 militant attacks occurred across the country in January 2023, resulting in the deaths of 134 individuals and injuries to 254 others. This made it one of the deadliest months since July 2018.
The TTP, Pakistan’s main militant group, intensified its attacks after the talks with the government broke down in November. The group particularly targeted the police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and areas bordering Afghanistan.
As the situation progressed, the insurgents in Balochistan increased their violent operations and established a connection with the TTP.
The arrest of Imam, the leader and founder of the militant group BNA, which was formed by merging the Baloch Republican Army (BRA) and the United Baloch Army (UBA), is a major setback not only for the group but also for other militant outfits striving to disrupt the peace in Balochistan that was achieved after numerous efforts.
Imam’s involvement in creating the Baloch Raji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS) and serving as its operational chief is also significant. The authorities are investigating his visits to India and Afghanistan, as well as his connections with intelligence agencies that are considered hostile.
The military’s statement highlights that hostile agencies tried to exploit the militant to work against Pakistan’s national interests. However, the LEAs’ success in capturing such a high-profile militant leader underscores their capabilities and dedication to thwarting terrorism and preserving the country’s security and stability.
The capture of Gulzar Imam is undoubtedly a significant achievement in Pakistan’s fight against terrorism. It demonstrates the effectiveness of the country’s LEAs, who have worked tirelessly to uproot the menace of terrorism and preserve the country’s peace and stability.
However, the capture of a single militant leader is not enough to eliminate the threat of terrorism. Pakistan must continue its efforts to counter militant groups and their nefarious designs to destabilize the country. These efforts must include improved intelligence gathering, better coordination among LEAs, and effective implementation of counterterrorism measures.