PM felicitates ISI for arresting founder of banned BNA in 'brilliant operation'
Says the arrest will help suppress militancy in Balochistan and usher in a new era of peace
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday felicitated the country’s top spy agency for arresting Gulzar Imam alias Shambay, the founder of banned Balochistan National Army (BNA), in an intelligence operation.
Taking to Twitter, the premier wrote: “Heartfelt felicitations to ISI for carrying out a brilliant operation that resulted in the arrest of BNA's founder. This operation speaks of outstanding professionalism of our institutions.”
He hoped that the arrest would help suppress militancy in Balochistan and usher in a new era of peace.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) April 8, 2023
A day earlier, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed the arrest of the high-value target in a successful intelligence operation.
It said the operation was conducted by the “Lead Intelligence Agency,” adding that Imam had been a hardcore militant as well as founder and leader of the banned outfit responsible for dozens of violent terrorist attacks in Pakistan, including attacks on law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) and installations in Panjgur and Noshki.
Gulzar Imam also remained deputy to Brahamdagh Bugti in the Baloch Republican Army (BRA) till 2018. He was also instrumental in formation of the Baloch Raji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS) and remained its operational head. "His visits to Afghanistan and India are also on record; his linkages with hostile intelligence agencies (HIAs) are being investigated," the ISPR said. Reportedly, HIAs also tried to exploit him to work against the state of Pakistan and its national interests.
He was apprehended after a carefully planned operation spanned over months over various geographical locations.
“The arrest of Gulzar Imam Shambay is a serious blow to BNA as well as other militant groups which have been attempting to destabilise the hard-earned peace in Balochistan,” the military’s media wing said.
Apprehension of a militant leader of this stature demonstrates the capability and resolve of LEAs to uproot the menace of terrorism as well as speaks volumes for the successes garnered through supreme sacrifices of unsung heroes, it said.