BLA sets afire installations of Chinese telcos in Pak’s Quetta: Report | World News - Hindustan Times
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BLA sets afire installations of Chinese telcos in Pak’s Quetta: Report

By | Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Jul 03, 2021 09:13 PM IST

China set up a communications network in Pakistan using telecom giants Huawei, Netcom, Exeleron and ZTE to spy and trace Balochistan's citizens under the Universal Service Fund programme

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), the separatist group from Western Pakistan’s Balochistan, in a statement said that it set fire on installations made by Chinese telecom companies in Balochistan’s Quetta and detained six officials who were involved with the projects, according to a report by news agency ANI.

Balochistan is the focal point of China's $60 billion Belt and Road development programme.(AFP/Representative Photo)
Balochistan is the focal point of China's $60 billion Belt and Road development programme.(AFP/Representative Photo)

The incident took place on June 26 at Margat's Chokhobi Wadh area. The spokesperson of the separatist group Azad Baloch said that it released three men out of the six but continued to detain the rest as they were deemed suspicious by the group.

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He said that the outfit decided that if the United Nations (UN) or international organisations including representatives of the Red Cross in Geneva act as guarantors for the release of rest of the men and provide assurance that these men will not again work for spy networks of the Pakistani army they will release the rest of the hostages. The BLA said that these men should not return to work in such ‘exploitative projects’.

Azad Baloch gave the international bodies 10 days to respond to their demands. The BLa had earlier warned the telecommunication companies against working as ‘facilitators in expansionist ambitions of the imperialist powers.’

China set up a communications network in Pakistan using telecom giants Huawei, Netcom, Exeleron and ZTE to spy and trace Balochistan's citizens under the Universal Service Fund programme, the ANI report said. The report also pointed out that these telecom companies set up towers in uninhabited hilly areas to exchange information about the Baloch separatist movement. Balochistan is the focal point of China's $60 billion Belt and Road development programme.

Clashes between Baloch separatists and Pakistan army continues as last week five soldiers died in Sangan in Quetta. The Pakistan army said that the attack was carried out by ‘ suspected’ militants.

(with inputs from ANI)

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