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India weighs Baloch leader’s asylum request (Relevant for GS Mains Paper II)

Potential Nod by India to assign Political asylum to Bugti
The Home Ministry stated that it had received Baloch leader Brahamdagh Bugti’s request for an Indian ID card and travel papers and was examining it. The request was forwarded by the Ministry of External Affairs.
The official said that though a time frame could not be given for the request to be processed, it would be done at the earliest.

Similar reference to this case
The situation is so complex that the officials in the Home Ministry are digging through 1959 records to check the process. The last time India allowed an asylum request was in 1959 to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama by the Jawaharlal Nehru government.

Current Position
Mr. Bugti is now in Switzerland and runs his political activities from there without official authorisation from the Swiss government. He filed the request with the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva.

Even the term ‘refugee’ is not mentioned in any domestic law. India has not signed the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees, or its 1967 Protocol that stipulates the rights host states must provide refugees.

Who is Brahamdagh Bugti?
Brahamdagh Khan Bugti, is the founder and leader of the Baloch Republican Party, a Baloch nationalist group. He is the grandson of Nawab Akbar Bugti, the patriarch and head of the Bugtis, the largest tribe of Balochistan. 

Akbar Bugti was killed in a police action by Pakistani in 2006 during the tenure of President Pervez Musharraf. The Pakistani government accuses Brahamdagh Bugti of leading the Baloch Republican Army, a separatist group designated as a terrorist organisation in Pakistan.

Background
Brahamdagh Bugti escaped police action and travelled to Switzerland via Afghanistan on an Afghan passport. Swiss authorities had pressured him not to indulge in political activities. 

Outcome of assigning Asylum to Bugti
If granted asylum, Mr. Bugti could be given a long-term visa to be renewed every year. The other scenario is that he will get a registration certificate with which he can travel anywhere.

An Indian official document, would enable him to travel to New York and other major western cities to campaign for the liberation of Balochistan.



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