Armed robbers allegedly belonging to the militant Baloch Liberation Front robbed a branch of the Habib Bank Limited in Kuddan Dasht in Mekran on Thursday at 11 am at gun point.
“They looted Rs. 300,000 from the bank,” former Balochistan assembly speaker Mir Akram Dashti told this correspondent.
Dashti said provision of small loans to the public has been seriously impacted because of the militant actions. “Higher authorities of banks are seriously considering stopping all banking activities in the far-flung areas of Mekran,” he said.
Just a week earlier, alleged B.L.F. militants attacked the local police station in the same area, set it on fire and snatched two rifles from the levies men posted there. The deputy commission of Kech Abdul Hameed Abro suspended four levies men after the attack on the police station.
The B.L.F. has so far not claimed responsibility for the bank robbery, but may never do so.
According to eyewitness accounts the militants who set ablaze the local police station and snatched two Kalashnikov assault rifle from Dasht were very same ones and riding in the same vehicles, but though the B.L.F. owned responsibility for the attack on the police station it kept mum on the bank robbery.
The B.L.F. was said to be a politically movement at the time of its launch more than a decade ago, but since the death of former governor and chief minister of Balochistan Nawab Akbar Khan Buti, 79, in August in an army offensive has decayed into a criminal organization.
According to Master Sattar Baloch, a renegade founder of the B.L.F., the front has deviated from its original mission and has gone down the political gutter.
One of its supporters in North America is Toronto-based Zaffar Jawaid aka Zaffar Baloch, a former card-holding member of the Communist Party of Pakistan from the Karachi slum of Old Golimar, who allegedly has close ties with 911 terror mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Mr. Baloch operates in tandem with Mumtaz Khan, also in Toronto, who has been on the payroll of the Research and Analysis Wing of India for more than 25 years now.
Some of the supporters of the B.L.F. are arrogant sons and grandsons of Baloch chieftains now living in the West. Most of them operate their own, separate militant outfit, allegedly supported by Pakistan’s arch rival India, to make a fast buck.
The B.L.F. is headed by Dr. Allah Nazar, who is a member of the Mohammad Hasni tribe in Mashkay, with no roots to Mekran.