The Ministry of External Affairs has clarified that no official steps have been initiated to give asylum to exiled Baloch leader Brahumdagh Bugti even as Pakistani media reported the activist will get Indian citizenship soon. "We have no such intentions at present," a senior government official told The Times of India.
Bugti also confirmed that he has not yet applied for asylum. He told ANI that he will make a decision on the issue after meeting Baloch Republican Party members on September 19. The exiled leader, who is currently in Switzerland, said, "Right now, I'm here, but I face problems regarding my travel. So, if I get an option to be in India, I will definitely go there."
The news comes a day after Pakistani television channel Geo News reported that Bugti and his associates Sher Muhammad Bugti and Azizullah Bugti will be granted Indian citizenship.
Bugti has been fighting for the freedom of Baloch people and is against the alleged human rights violations in the region. He had earlier claimed that Islamabad was putting pressure on the Swiss government to deny his application for citizenship. He fled the country after his grandfather and nationalist leader Akbar Khan Bugti was killed in 2006.
Baloch activists found support from Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he raised the issue of human rights abuses in the region in his Independence Day speech. They have also openly thanked Modi.