WASHINGTON / ISLAMABAD The US has declared separatist group Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) as a terrorist organisation, weeks after it attacked a five-star hotel in the port city of Gwadar.
Pakistan in 2006 banned the outfit and have been urging the US to do the same.
“The BLA is an armed separatist group that targets security forces and civilians, mainly in ethnic Baloch areas of Pakistan,” the State Department said Tuesday.
The department made it a crime for anyone in the US to assist the BLA militants and freezing any US assets they may have.
The outfit has carried out several terrorist attacks in the past year, including a suicide attack in August, 2018 that targeted Chinese engineers in Balochistan, a November, 2018 attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, and a May, 2019 attack against a luxury hotel in Gwadar, it added.
In May this year, five people, including a Pakistani soldier, were killed after BLA terrorists stormed a five-star hotel in the port city of Gwadar.
Welcoming the US’ move, Pakistan said it hope that the action will ensure that the BLA’s space to operate is minimised.
It is important that the perpetrators, organisers, financers and external sponsors including those glorifying these acts of terror against Pakistan are held accountable and brought to justice,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement in Islamabad.