NEW DELHI: In a development that will have ramifications for Indo-Pakistan relations, Baloch leader Brahumdagh Bugti on Monday made it clear that he would formally apply for political asylum in India and asked New Delhi to make Balochistan a “serious part” of its foreign policy. The 34-year-old pro-freedom Baloch leader made the announcement during a press conference in Geneva organised by his Baloch Republican Party. His asylum application in Switzerland has been pending for six years, and the lack of travel documents hampers his movement across the globe. “We have decided to formally file asylum papers to the Indian government soon. We will follow the legal process for the application,” Bugti said, while adding that hewould be approaching the Indian Embassy in Switzerland seeking asylum in India. If the Indian government grants political asylum to Bugti, who is amongst the most wanted men in Pakistan, he will be one of the biggest political asylum seekers since the Dalai Lama in 1959.
Later, talking to the New Indian Express, Bugti said India should be raising the Balochistan issue at the United Nations. “It is the responsibility of India as a responsible neighbor and as a civilized country to become the voice of the Baloch people in the world community and convince the United Nations to send fact-finding missions to Balochistan to expose the Pakistani war crimes and to show the world what is really going on there,” Bugti said. India has been turning on the heat against Pakistan by extending its political support to the freedom movement of Balochistan. “It should be a very serious part of the Indian foreign policy to raise the voice of the oppressed Baloch people on international fora and persuade the international community to stop supporting the oppressive Pakistani regimes. Financial and military aid given to Pakistan is being used to suppress the peaceful movement of the Baloch nation,” Bugti added. Bugti has been on the run since his grandfather Akbar Bugti was assassinated a decade ago.