GILGIT: The National Counter Terrorism Authority (NCTA) has released an updated list of organizations proscribed for alleged involvement in terrorism.
The name of Balawaristan National Front (Abdul Hameed Khan Group) has been added to the list at serial no. 68, based on a notification issued on February 26, 2019.
Other banned organizations from Gilgit-Baltistan include Khana-e-Hikmat, Shia Talba Action Committee (STAC), Anjuman-e-Imamia, Tanzeem Naujawana-e-Ahle Sunnat (TNA) – Gilgit, Muslim Students Organization (MSO) – Gilgit, Tanzeem Ahl-e-Sunnat wal Jamat and Markazi Sabeel Organization – Gilgit,
Balawaristan National Front (Abdul Hameed Khan Group) is a nationalist political party demanding independence of Gilgit-Baltistan. The Ministry of Interior has accused the group of involvement in terrorism.
In 2017, the Gilgit-Baltistan Police has arrested several workers of the party and claimed recovering ‘large cache’ of illegal weapons from their possession. Spokesman of the Foreign Office had, during a press conference, accused the group of being “RAW funded” and working against the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
On the other hand, BNF (Abdul Hameed Group) argues that it is being targeted because of its nationalistic stance and ideology which sees Gilgit-Baltistan as independent state in the future.
Top leader of BNF, Abdul Hameed Khan, has been living in self-exile in Europe for several years.
Another faction of Balawaristan National Front, led by Nawaz Khan Naji, is represented in the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly.