The US Department of State said in a press release on Tuesday that the country has imposed economic sanctions on the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a separatist group in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan, for its terror bombings in a bid to break away from Islamabad.
The Department of State has designated the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Hezbollah operative Husain Ali Hazzima as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, according to the State Department notification
“BLA is an armed separatist group that targets security forces and civilians, mainly in ethnic Baloch areas of Pakistan,” the release said.
“BLA has carried out several terrorist attacks in the past year, including a suicide attack in August 2018 that targeted Chinese engineers in Balochistan, a November 2018 attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, and a May 2019 attack against a luxury hotel in Gwadar, Balochistan,” the release continued to say.
The US has further imposed sanctions on Hezbollah operative Husain Ali Hazzima, chief of the Beirut-based terrorist group’s intelligence unit, the release read.
Meanwhile Pakistan has welcomed the move and hoped that “designation will ensure that BLA’s space to operate is minimized”.
“We have taken note of the designation by the US Administration of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) as Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). BLA remains a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2006 and in recent times has carried out several terrorist attacks in the country,” a statement from Pakistani government said.
“It is hoped that this designation will ensure that BLA’s space to operate is minimized. It is important that the perpetrators, organizers, financers and external sponsors including those glorifying these acts of terror against Pakistan are held accountable and brought to justice,” it said.