Who Are Majeed Brigade? The Baloch Liberation Army’s Suicide Squad Behind Gwadar Port Attack In Pakistan

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NEW DELHI: The recent attack on a complex near Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port, claimed by the Majeed Brigade of the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), has once again brought attention to the persistent issue of separatist violence in Balochistan province. Two soldiers were martyred while eight terrorists were killed by the Pakistan Army after it thwarted an attack on the Gwadar Port Authority Colony on Wednesday, according to the military’s media wing.

The BLA And Majeed Brigade

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) stands out as a prominent separatist group amidst the array of such movements in Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest but most underdeveloped province. The Majeed Brigade is named after two brothers, Majeed Langove Senior and Majeed Langove Junior, who carried out suicide attacks in August 1974 and March 2010, respectively. Majeed Senior tried to assassinate then-Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto when he was on an official visit to Quetta. He wanted to kill him for dismissing the National Awami Party’s government in Baluchistan, but Majeed Senior lost his life during the operation. Majeed Junior sacrificed himself to save his associates when Pakistani security forces raided the house where they were staying in Quetta’s Wahdat Colony. Majeed Junior held back the raid to give his associates time to escape.

Historical Context

The roots of the Baloch insurgency trace back to Pakistan’s inception, with the province’s annexation in 1948 sparking a protracted struggle for independence. Ethnic Baloch, despite the region’s resource wealth, has faced systemic marginalization and economic disparity. The construction of the China-backed Gwadar Port symbolizes this injustice, exacerbating tensions as outsiders disproportionately benefit from local resources.

Birth Of Majeed Brigade

The death of Majeed Langove Junior in 2010, resisting Pakistani forces in Quetta, galvanized Baloch nationalists and solidified the Langove brothers’ legacy. As the BLA sought to intensify its resistance, the Majeed Brigade was formed under Aslam Achu’s leadership. This suicide squad carried out its inaugural attack in 2011, targeting key figures aligned with the Pakistani state.

Continued Struggle

In subsequent years, the Majeed Brigade continued its campaign of violence, targeting Chinese interests and symbols of Pakistani authority. Attacks on Chinese engineers, the Chinese Consulate in Karachi, and strategic installations like the Gwadar Pearl Continental Hotel and the Pakistan Stock Exchange underscore the group’s determination to disrupt perceived exploitative ventures and challenge state control.

Role In Gwadar Port Attack

The Majeed Brigade’s role in the recent attack near Gwadar Port reaffirms its status as a potent force within the Baloch insurgency. As Pakistan grapples with internal strife and external pressures, understanding the motivations and dynamics of groups like the Majeed Brigade remains paramount in addressing the root causes of Baloch militancy and fostering sustainable peace in the region.

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