Friday Sep 16, 2016

Brahumdagh Bugti to get Indian passport

Brahumdagh Bugti to get Indian passport

LONDON: Exiled Baloch leader Brahumdagh Bugti is set to get Indian passport after long negotiations with the Indian authorities, it was revealed on Thursday.

Credible sources within the outlawed Baloch Republican Party (BRP) have confirmed to this correspondent that India in principle has agreed to grant citizenship to Brahumdagh Bugti and his key aides to enable them to move around freely in the world – in the same way that India has facilitated Dalai Lama who uses an Indian passport to travel around the world to campaign against China.

Geo News has learnt from authoritative sources that Brahumdagh will formally apply for Indian citizenship in Geneva after a meeting of his banned party's officials in Geneva on 18th-19th September.

Brahumdagh's only sister is married to prominent Baloch leader Mehran Baloch, who is a British national but lives mostly in Dubai and is active in the United Nations Human Rights Council.

"Everything is agreed and settled between the Indian government and Brahumdagh. He will submit his official request to the Indian mission in Geneva after getting endorsement from his party," said the source.

The Indian establishment opened negotiations with Brahumdagh Bugti on granting him Indian citizenship earlier this year – much before Indian premier Narendra Modi broke his cover of supporting Baloch insurgents a month ago – after he came to the view that he may not get Swiss passport anytime soon and could be staying confined in Switzerland for an indefinite time period.

On January 16 this year, this correspondent had reported exclusively, quoting credible Baloch and Swiss sources, that the asylum application of the outlawed BRP leader Brahamdagh Bugti has been turned down by the Switzerland immigration authorities. The BRP reacted with fury and said that the report was "propaganda" against the exiled Baloch leader.

But now Brahumdagh himself and the BRP officials accept that the grandson of Nawab Akbar Bugti had asked the Swiss immigration authorities to make a decision on his case but he was informed at the start of this year that his case "remains in the process" and "no time frame" can be given.

Bugti alleges that the Switzerland government is under pressure from Pakistan to not grant him citizenship status, enabling him to get the Swiss passport for travel.

The source said that if India can give sanctuary to anti-China leader Dalai Lama then there should be no problem for Brahumdagh Bugti. He revealed that Brahumdagh Bugti is in contact with a "leading western power and the response we have received is great".

"India has facilitated Dalai Lama against the pressure from a powerful country like China. It helped Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman as well. It will help Brahumdagh and his colleagues as well. Brahumdagh has asked for Indian citizenship for himself and all his colleagues. There are 15,000 Bugtis stuck in Afghanistan. Around 2,000 are in various countries including European countries. Their asylum applications have been either approved or are in process. Brahumdagh would like all these people accommodated along with his own case," said the source.

Geo News has learnt that, at the first stage, it has been agreed that India will give citizenship to Brahumdagh and his key lieutenants in Switzerland including his trusted aides Sher Muhammad Bugti and Azizullah Bugti.

"We will use Indian papers to travel around the world to campaign against Pakistan and to highlight our case. We have openly thanked Narendra Modi for his support and we are no more hiding anything. We have no other option. We do not care what our opponents think of our support for Modi and his support for us," said the source.

In the meeting on 18th and 19th September in Geneva, seven members of the 16-member BRP will be present to endorse Bugti's decision of openly getting help from India. The BRP members from Germany, London, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland will attend this meeting.

Bugti fled his hometown Dera Bugti in Balochistan in 2006 following the assassination of his grandfather Akbar Bugti. He lived in Afghanistan as a state guest and was then flown from there to Switzerland. He reached Switzerland in late October 2010 and has been living there ever since on political asylum with his family.