None of the two militant outfits—Baloch Liberaion Army or its splinter United Baloch Army — issued any statement about the clashes that major Pakistani newspapers said left at least 20 dead, showing that perhaps truth is the first casualty during wars. Balochistan liberation media sources and local residents deep inside Baloch tribal terrirtories have contradicted what they called lies of Balochistan home minister Sarfraz Bugti—key henchman of the Inter Services Intelligence– in the Pakistani media about clashes between the BLA and the UBA and described it as a ploy to undertake military action deep inside Balochistan.
“The clash took place in Pir Suri Darbar and Han Nullah, the two areas located at the border between Dera Bugti and Kohlu districts of the restive province.,” Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported. “Both sides used heavy weapons against each other for a long time.”
Residents of Pir Suri Bazar rejected media reports that said 20 people had died in a deadly clash in their area, according to the pro-liberation Humgaam News, which appears connected with the Baloch Liberation Army. “We like to make it clear through our elders that no Baloch has any threat from any other Baloch in the area. The only threat is from Pakistan’s security forces, who routinely attack common folks, our livestock and farms and agricultural lands,” the residents said. All Pakistan newspapers, who generally keep mum on the state atrocities in Balochistan, reported a clash between the BLA and UBA and said at least 20 people were killed.
The Marri locals said, “The baseless allegation of the home minister has led to concerns that the security forces want to use the incident report as a ruse to launch a fresh operation,” and added, “Like what has become routine now, it is quite possible they will kill the Baloch under their custody and then claim those folks were killed in an armed clash between tribesmen.” The locals said, “In this way they will try to create despondency among the Baloch masses.” The Marri locals said crimes in Kahan area is almost non-existent and the claims about the deaths were clearly aimed at paving the way for a major operation.
The worst enemy of a Baloch is another Baloch, often his brother. Notwithstanding the denial, difference between the BLA and UBA is common knowledge as the two organizations continue to level serious allegations against one another. The mainstream media and social media reports say the BLA is led by London-based Hyrbyair Marri and the UBA is led by his younger brother Dubai-based Mehran Marri. Both brothers deny any links to the said organizations. The two brothers are also fiercely opposed to the Chinese intervention in Balochistan. No Baloch has stepped in to help resolve the dispute between the two brothers as generally as a people the Baloch love to see two brothers fight. None of the two brothers could even attend their father’s funeral in June last year in Pakistan as they are both wanted in Pakistan for their involvement in the ongoing liberation struggle. Apparently, the two also do not give any thought to the old Balochi proverb that says when brothers become enemies they lose their status and get lost in society. Though the millionaire brothers are dedicated to the freedom of their homeland, their failure to end their rivalry makes them look frivolous. Their dispute has undermined the works of writers and intellectuals all over the Baloch diaspora.