Pakistan seeks extradition of rebel leader from Switzerland
Pakistan has asked Switzerland to reject the application by an rebel leader for asylum and extradite him to stand trial for fuelling armed rebellion in south-western Pakistan, a newspaper reported Sunday, DPA reported.
Bramdagh Bugti is head of the separatist Baloch Republic Party and its armed wing, Baloch Republican Army, which has been accused by authorities of terrorism in the Baluchistan province.
The Dawn newspaper, quoting official sources, reported that "proof" of Bugti's involvement in alleged subversive activities have been provided to the Swiss government but Berne has not officially responded to the extradition request.
Mineral rich but poverty stricken Baluchistan has been rocked by violence perpetrated by Baloch nationalists demanding control over indigenous resources.
The failure of Islamabad to address their grievances over the years has resulted low level insurgency. Baloch rebels have been blamed for several dozen bombings and the execution of hundreds of people from smaller rival ethnic groups.
The 30-year-old Bugti is the grandson of prominent tribal leader and former provincial governor, Akbar Khan Bugti, who was killed by the army in 2006 after launching an armed struggle to press for the rights of his people.
The younger Bugti is the second Baloch rebel leader facing opposition from Pakistan to seek asylum in a Western country. He has been on the run since 2006, first living in Afghanistan for almost four years. His presence there created diplomatic tension, as Pakistan demanded his handover.
According to Dawn, the United States and other Western countries had helped to Bugti to relocate to Switzerland in October, as his presence in Afghanistan affected counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan.
He reportedly travelled on an Indian passport.
Pakistan does not have an extradition treaty with Switzerland.