A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

Lashkar-E-Balochistan Narrative


Lashkar-E-Balochistan

Last Update

January 2015

Aliases

LeB, Balochistan’s Army, Army of Balochistan[1]

History

Lashkar-e-Balochistan is a separatist, militant organization based in Balochistan, Pakistan.[2] Although its exact founding date is unknown, the group first perpetrated an attack in 2009.[3] Lashkar-e-Balochistan was created out of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), with the goal of achieving autonomy for Balochistan and independence from Pakistan.[4] It was declared a terrorist group in 2006 by the Pakistan government.[5] Lashkar-e-Balochistan has engaged in very little political activity since its emergence, although several news articles have mentioned the group’s relationships with foreign diplomats.[6] The group mainly engages in violent attacks targeting Pakistani military or police forces.

Although Javed Mengal is the group’s leader, very little is known about the structure of Lashkar-e-Balochistan.[7] The group uses several different tactics to raise funds, including charities and donations, kidnapping, and robbery.[8] According to the newspaper, The Nation, Lashkar-e-Balochistan has also received state sponsorship from India for their campaigns against Pakistan.[9] Indian, American, British and Israeli intelligence agencies have also been cited as supporters of Lashkar-e-Balochistan and other separatist, anti-Pakistan insurgencies, allegedly providing funding and support for the organization.[10] However, these accusations have never been confirmed. The Pakistan Ministry of Interior has banned the group and taken steps to decrease the threat they pose, including disarming the group in 2013 and prohibiting members from carrying weapons.[11]

Home Base

Pakistan (Balochistan, Khuzdar)[12]

Founding Year

Unknown; first attack in 2009

Ideology

Ethnic-Separatist-Baloch; Secular[13]

Specific Goals

  • Creation of an independent state within Balochistan.[14]

Political Activity

  • In 2011 Lashkar-e-Balochistan allegedly met with British, American and Indian diplomats in London to organize anti-Pakistan campaigns.[15] These allegations have not been confirmed.
  • LeB has also protested outside the London U.S. embassy, to gain the attention of foreign government officials and to demand foreign intervention in Balochistan.[16]

Financing

  • Charities/donations: Lashkar-e-Balochistan takes donations, including Zakat and Fitrana during Ramadan. In 2011, the Punjab Home Department prohibited Lashkar-e-Balochistan and other separatist groups from collecting donations on the Islamic holiday.[17]
  • Kidnapping[18]
  • Robbery[19]
  • State sponsorship: According to The Nation, India has been transferring funding and weaponry through Afghanistan to support Lashkar-e-Balochistan and other Baloch militant groups to fight Pakistan.[20] Lashkar-e-Balochistan exchanges funding, weaponry and militant soldiers with the Taliban.[21]

Leadership and Structure over Time

  • Javed Mengal is the leader of Lashkar-e-Balochistan.[22] However, very little is known about the structure of the group.

Strength

Unknown

Allies and Suspected Allies

  • Several newspaper agencies have cited American, British and Indian intelligence agencies, as allies of Lashkar-e-Balochistan.[23] However, none of these allegations have been confirmed.
    • Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), an Indian Intelligence Agency has been accused of providing Lashkar-e-Balochistan with support, funding, weaponry and man-power in order to fight the government of Pakistan.[24]
    • RAW, the CIA, Mossad and MI-6, a British intelligence agency, have all been providing Lashkar-e-Balochistan with land for training camps and support for their separatist movement since the early 2000s.[25]

Rivals and Enemies

  • The Pakistan Government, including Pakistan military and police forces (target).[26]

Counterterrorism Efforts

  • Domestic Political:
    • LeB was banned in 2010 under Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, allowing the government to close any offices controlled by the banned organization, freeze any and all accounts, seize any literature, posters, banners, or any other printed or digital material, and to prohibit any press-related activities.[27]
  • Domestic Military:
    • In 2014, at least 10 militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Balochistan were killed in Panjgur, a mountainous region in Balochistan.[28]
    • In 2013, the government made the decision to disarm all terrorist groups, in an effort to create a more stable and peaceful Balochistan district.[29]

United States Government Designations

None

Other Governments’ Designations

  • Pakistan (September 2010): Designated Terrorist Organization.[30]
 

[1]  “UK intelligence fanning separatist militancy in Pakistan – paper,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, April 21, 2011; Karlos Zurutuza, “An Interview with a Baloch Guerilla Commander,” Crisis Balochistan, October 30, 2012; “Bomb at Train Station Kills 2 and Injures 27 in Pakistan,” The New York Times, April 24, 2012.

[2] “Violence drives settlers out of province,” Gulf News, July 28, 2010. http://gulfnews.com/news/world/pakistan/violence-drives-settlers-out-of-province-1.660365.

[3] National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). (2013). Global Terrorism Database [Data file]. Retrieved from http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd

[4] “Pakistan: British spy agencies back Baloch militants,” Right Vision News, April 22, 2011. Lexis Nexis Academic; Ameer Khan and Dr. Razia Musarrat, “Implications for the Post 9/11 Afghan Insurgency For Pakistan: a Social and Political Perspective,” European Academic Research (2014).

[5] Jayshree Bajoria and Jonathan Masters, “Pakistan’s New Generation of Terrorists,” Indian Strategies Studies, Last Updated: September 26, 2012. http://strategicstudyindia.blogspot.com/2012/11/pakistans-new-generation-of-terrorists.html

[6] “UK intelligence fanning separatist militancy in Pakistan – paper,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, April 21, 2011; “Simmering Balochistan,” The Frontier Post, May 4 2011. http://nation.com.pk/columns/03-May-2011/Simmering-Balochistan; “Pakistan: British spy agencies back Baloch militants,” Right Vision News, April 22, 2011. Lexis Nexis Academic.

[7] Rezaul H Laskar, “Authorities determined to ensure peaceful polls in Balochistan,” Balochistan News Network, May 5, 2013. http://balochistannewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2013/05/authorities-determined-to-ensure.html

[8] “Pakistan: BLF-TTP nexus in Navy attacks,” The Right Vision News, April 30, 2011.

[9] “Blast All leads point to Balochistan,” The Nation, April 26, 2012. http://nation.com.pk/lahore/26-Apr-2012/blast-all-leads-point-to-balochistan

[10] “Pakistan: British spy agencies back Baloch militants,” Right Vision News, April 22, 2011. Lexis Nexis Academic; Khuram Iqbal, “Counter-insurgency In Balochistan: Pakistan’s Strategy, Outcome and Future Implications,” Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, July 15, 2008; “UK intelligence fanning separatist militancy in Pakistan – paper,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, April 21, 2011.

[11] “List of banned organisations in Pakistan,” The Express Tribune, October 24, 2012; “Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” U.S. Department of State: Diplomacy in Action; “Militant outfits to be banned,” Islamabad Dateline, February 7, 2012; Zahid Gishkori, “Peace building measure: Gov’t plans to disarm militias in Balochistan,” The Express Tribune, December 30, 2013. http://tribune.com.pk/story/652497/peace-building-measure-govt-plans-to-disarm-militias-in-balochistan/

[12] “Violence drives settlers out of province,” Gulf News (United Arab Emirates), July 28, 2010. http://gulfnews.com/news/world/pakistan/violence-drives-settlers-out-of-province-1.660365; “Efforts to distort Balochistan history,” Daily National Herald Tribune, April 4, 2014.

[13] Ameer Khan and Dr. Razia Musarrat, “Implications for the Post 9/11 Afghan Insurgency For Pakistan: a Social and Political Perspective.”; Karlos Zurutuza, “An Interview with a Baloch Guerilla Commander,” Crisis Balochistan, October 30, 2012; “Efforts to distort Balochistan history,” Daily National Herald Tribune, April 4, 2014.

[14] “Balochistan: Problems and Solutions,” Vision 21, p. 5; Ameer Khan and Dr. Razia Musarrat, “Implications for the Post 9/11 Afghan Insurgency For Pakistan: a Social and Political Perspective.”

[15] “UK intelligence fanning separatist militancy in Pakistan – paper,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, April 21, 2011; “Simmering Balochistan,” The Frontier Post, May 4 2011. http://nation.com.pk/columns/03-May-2011/Simmering-Balochistan; “Pakistan: British spy agencies back Baloch militants,” Right Vision News, April 22, 2011. Lexis Nexis Academic.

[16] “Simmering Balochistan,” The Frontier Post, May 4 2011. http://nation.com.pk/columns/03-May-2011/Simmering-Balochistan

[17] “Pakistan: Zakat collection,” Right Vision News, August 4, 2011; “Pakistan: Pak Punjab bars LeT, JeM from collecting donations,” Right Vision News, August 5, 2011.

[18] “Pakistan: BLF-TTP nexus in Navy attacks,” The Right Vision News, April 30, 2011.

[19] “Pakistan: BLF-TTP nexus in Navy attacks,” The Right Vision News, April 30, 2011.

[20] “Blast All leads point to Balochistan,” The Nation, April 26, 2012. http://nation.com.pk/lahore/26-Apr-2012/blast-all-leads-point-to-balochistan

[21] “Pakistan: BLF-TTP nexus in Navy attacks,” The Right Vision News, April 30, 2011.

[22] Rezaul H Laskar, “Authorities determined to ensure peaceful polls in Balochistan,” Balochistan News Network, May 5, 2013. http://balochistannewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2013/05/authorities-determined-to-ensure.html

[23] “UK intelligence fanning separatist militancy in Pakistan – paper,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, April 21, 2011; “Pakistan: British spy agencies back Baloch militants,” Right Vision News, April 22, 2011. Lexis Nexis Academic; “Simmering Balochistan,” The Frontier Post, May 4, 2011. http://nation.com.pk/columns/03-May-2011/Simmering-Balochistan

[24] “UK intelligence fanning separatist militancy in Pakistan – paper,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, April 21, 2011.

[25] “Foreign Hand Stroking Baloch Insurgencies,” Sunday Times, November 20, 2011; “Conspiracy again Balochistan,” The Frontier Post, March 5, 2012.

[26] “Pakistan: British spy agencies back Baloch militants,” Right Vision News, April 22, 2011. Lexis Nexis Academic; “Pakistan: BLF-TTP nexus in Navy attacks,” The Right Vision News, April 30, 2011.

[27] “Banning the terrorists: The outlawed outsmart the law,” The Express Tribune, October 10, 2013; “List of banned organisations in Pakistan,” The Express Tribune, October 24, 2012.

[28] Zahid Gishkori, “Peace building measure: Gov’t plans to disarm militias in Balochistan,” The Express Tribune, December 30, 2013. http://tribune.com.pk/story/652497/peace-building-measure-govt-plans-to-disarm-militias-in-balochistan/; “Pakistan: 10 militants killed in operation on Panjgur-Awaran border,” Right Vision News, May 7, 2014; “10 militants killed in operation on Panjgur-Awaran border,” Daily The Post, May 6, 2014.

[29] Zahid Gishkori, “Peace building measure: Gov’t plans to disarm militias in Balochistan,” The Express Tribune, December 30, 2013. http://tribune.com.pk/story/652497/peace-building-measure-govt-plans-to-disarm-militias-in-balochistan/

[30] “Pakistan report lists organizations banned by Interior Ministry,” BBC Monitoring South Asia, April 23, 2014; “List of banned organisations in Pakistan,” The Express Tribune, October 24, 2012; “Militant outfits to be banned,” Islamabad Dateline, February 7, 2012.