The Pakistan police on Monday registered five cases against three leaders from Balochistan for allegedly “supporting” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on human rights abuses the region during his Independence Day speech earlier this month. The cases against Brahamdagh Bugti, Harbiyar Marri and Banuk Karima Baloch were registered based on complaints by five petitioners, according to Pakistani daily Dawn.
The leaders were charged under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including Section 120 (“concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment”) and Section 121 (“waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan”). A petitioner in one of the cases further alleged that the leaders had asked Modi to wage war against Pakistan. The cases were registered days after a video showing Bugti appreciating the “support” given by Modi to the people of the region was posted and circulated on social media. Exiled Baloch leader Munir Mengal came out in support of the booked leaders and condemned the First Information Reports registered against them, reported ANI.
In his speech, Modi had brought up the alleged human rights abuses in the region, adding that the people of Balochistan and Gilgit had “thanked” him afterwards. Later, Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri criticised Modi’s speech and alleged that New Delhi supported the “ongoing insurgency” in the region. The Pakistani government also criticised Modi, with a foreign ministry spokesperson saying that the Indian prime minister had “crossed a red line” by talking about the province. Modi’s remarks came a day after Pakistan dedicated its Independence Day to the “freedom of Kashmir”. This came against the backdrop of the ongoing crisis in the Valley following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani.