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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

The battling brothers of the Baluchistan movement

06 July 2015 13:26 (Last updated 06 July 2015 13:28) The Baluch fight to separate from Pakistan has been slowed by a struggle for leadership between brothers By Aamir Latif KARACHI, Pakistan The people of Kohlu in southwestern Pakistan are used to witnessing Baluch separatist militants battling with Pakistani security forces, but when the firing erupted last week, the clashing parties were different. It was a collision of two rival Baluch separatist groups, led by two brothers. The sons of a pioneer of the separatist movement, Nawab Khair Bux Marri, Harbayar and Zawran Marri have claim to fight for the liberation of Baluchistan but have turned their guns against each other. While 20 fighters were killed on either side in one of the bloodiest episodes of infighting in the Baluch movement, the two brothers Harbayar and Zawran are both living in exile in London. Their groups, the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) and United Baluch Army (UBA), reportedly split in 2008 over a string of financial and strategic disputes. The UBA then grabbed attention in 2009 when it abducted the Baluchistan head for the United National Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) John Soleckie, later setting him free for a large ransom. Last month, it also claimed responsibility for the killing 22 ethnic Pashtuns in an ambush near the Baluch capital of Quetta. Harbayar's BLA criticized both moves and claimed the abduction tarnished the separatist movement's international image. They have long fought for international recognition for the secession of Balushistan, a region that covers much of Pakistan -- which they say it was forcibly annexed by at the end of British rule -- and extends into Iran and Afghanistan. Pakistan's intelligence agencies claim the prime reason behind the opening of a rift between the two brothers was an influx of funds allegedly provided by India and other supposedly "anti-Pakistan" forces to the BLA. However, the clearest sharpening of differences is thought to have followed the death of their father, the chief of the powerful Marri tribe, when both brothers considered themselves the legitimate successor to the leadership of the tribe which had led the armed separatist movement since 1970s. It was actually the eldest brother Changez Marri, a provincial minister and staunch opponent of the separatist movement, who was ultimately appointed chief by the tribal elders. It was in line with tradition but Harbayar and Zawaran rejected the appointment. Though both brothers are on the Pakistani security forces' most wanted list, they have never actually admitted to leading their respective separatist groups. Pakistan's government has continuously demanded the British government deport the brothers and other separatist leaders but the British home ministry on July 2 wrote a letter proposing to try the alleged fugitives through its own legal system, instead of handing them over to Islamabad. Dents in the separatist movement The deepening differences between the two brothers, according to analysts, has hindered the separatist movement in Baluchistan and left it in decline. "The infighting between the two brothers have put major dents in the separatist movement in recent months," Irfan Hussein, a Karachi-based analyst told Anadolu Agency. "Many of their respective commanders have either been killed in the infighting or have surrendered." The army has tried to take advantage of the situation by offering a general amnesty, a financial package of up to 1.5 million Pakistani rupees ($15,000) and a government job as an incentive for fighters to surrender. According to security forces, around 35 fighters have turned over their arms in the last 6 months. "The infighting between the two Marris has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for security forces as the Marri tribe is considered the backbone of the insurgency," Hussein said. Malik Siraj Akbar, the editor of a Baluch news website, wrote in the Huffington Post that Nawab Khair Bux's death and the subsequent infighting between his sons led to the "dramatic decline" of a strong separatist movement. "Frustration, suspicion, infighting and division are the common features of the end of a guerrilla fight. Perhaps that time has come in Balochistan," he wrote. رئيس المجلس التركماني السوري: سنعمل على إنشاء جيش تركماني ٠‎٦‎/٧‎‎/٢‎٠‎١‎٥‎‎ ٠‎٢‎:٢‎٢‎ ( ٠‎٦‎/٧‎‎/٢‎٠‎١‎٥‎‎ ٠‎٤‎‎:٢‎٢‎) رأى أن الوجود التركماني في سوريا "يتعرض للخطر" إسطنبول/ إتم غيلان/ الأناضول قال رئيس المجلس التركماني السوري، عبد الرحمن مصطفى، إن "المجموعات التركمانية المقاتلة في سوريا، اتخذت قراراً بتقديم دعم أكبر لبعضها البعض، والعمل على إنشاء جيش تركماني في حال سمحت الظروف بذلك". وأشار مصطفى في حوار مع مراسل "الأناضول"، اليوم الاثنين، إلى انعقاد اجتماع في ولاية "غازي عنتاب"، جنوبي تركيا، أمس الأحد، حضره ممثلون عسكريون ومدنيون تركمان من محافظات ومدن حلب، وجرابلس، والجولان، واللاذقية، وجبل التركمان، وإدلب، والرقة، وتل أبيض، وحمص. واعتبر مصطفى، أن الوجود التركماني في سوريا "يتعرض للخطر"، حيث أن التركمان يقطنون في أماكن، يراها كل من النظام السوري وتنظيم "داعش" وحزب الاتحاد الديمقراطي الكردي(PYD)، على أنها أماكن "استراتيجية". وأضاف أن حزب الاتحاد الديمقراطي، يحاول تنفيذ خططه المتعلقة بأراضي التركمان في سوريا، مؤكدا على استمرار كفاحهم لضمان، ألا يتكرر في مدينة حلب ما حدث في تل أبيض التابعة لمحافظة الرقة من تهجير للتركمان، خاصة وأن حلب يقطنها أكثر من ٤٠٠ ألف تركماني، يمثلون أكبر تجمع تركماني في سوريا. وأكد رئيس المجلس أن القوات التركمانية، ستظل جزءا من الجيش الحر، كما أن المجلس التركماني جزء من الائتلاف السوري المعارض. Creation of Turkmen militias to counter balance Kurdish advances is vintage 1990s for TR - and it didnt work in KRG, u.aa.com.tr/551103 2:49 AM - 7 Jul 2015 @A_Ozkok Does the Turkish backed Sunni Turkmen movement have any power in the country? Ali Özkök Ali Özkök @aaronstein1 No and the Shia-Turkmens are more inclined to Iran, right? @A_Ozkok Not too familiar with the Shia Turkmens. But they dont get any play in Turkish press. See the siege of Amirli few months back.

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