February 23, 2010 Top Baloch rebel leader arrested by Iranian Intelligence
Abdul Malik Rigi is said to be arrested by Iranian intelligence agency. Iranian Arabic TV channel announced his arrest citing Iranian intelligence ministry, Abdul Malik Rigi was top most rebel leader in Iran, he was believed to be masterminded dozens of attack on Iranian Intelligence personals, security forces and other para- military forces, last year his attack on a military gatherig at Pashin area killed 40 people majority of them were from the Iranian armed forces, including deputy cheif of staf General Shustari. the blast sparked tention between iran and pakistan. iran vocally said that pakistani intelligence is supporting Abdul Malik Regi and by far head of Iranian army also demanded his president to grant him permission to invade Pakistan if it does not hands over rigi to Iran.
he belonged to the Eastern Iranian province of Sistan Balochistan, which has a different cultural and ethnic background from that of other parts of Iran, Iran has long history of crushing Baloch insurgency in ethnic and sunny province of Sistan and Balochistan, this part of Balochistan was also included in rule of Khan Kalat (The Baloch Dynasty which ruled Balochistan) The Kingdom of Kalat Stretched from present day Karachi and as far as port city of Bander Abbas and Bhampor in Iran, Nemrouz and Helmand in Afghanistan till 17th centaury AD. Persian Army captured the Bhampor in 1849, revolt of Jask was ruthlessly crushed in 1873, Sarhad rebellion in 1888, Sardar Hussein Narui Baloch rebellion was crushed in a joint operation of Anglo Persian forces in 1898. At 1916 Bharam Khan Baloch succeeded to achieve a short lived Baloch Kingdom and also had the reorganization of then British Empire as a sole Baloch King of present day Sistan Balochistan area. 1920, Mir Dost Muhammad Khan was heir to the Bharam Khan, But in 1928, Reza came in power and started multiple operation against the Baloch kingdom with the help of British Empire, Baloch rule ended in the same year and Dost Muhammad Khan was executed by Reza Shah in Tehran. There is still unresting insurgency in both sides of Balochistan under Pakistan and Iran occupation.
[Video aired on Iranian tv channels showing arrested Abdul Malik Rigi comming down from a Jet Plane]
Iranian regime believes that from 1950 to 1980 Arab nationalist were behind the insurgency in Balochistan specially the past Bathist Party ruled countries like Iraq, Syria and Egypt. Iraq supported Balochistan Autonomist Movement in 1980-1988 to create trouble for freshly installed Shia regime of Ayatollah Khomeini on its eastern border.
Number of such rebel figures appeared in Iranian Balochistan like Dad Shah, Eidok Bamri, Lider Nohani, Rasool Buksh and his brother Aazam, Ammanullah Mubarki, Mir Moladad Jadgal, Kamalan and more recent Abdul Malik Rigi. The long Baloch insurgency and its continuity shows that Baloch are not happy nor satisfied with Iranian and Pakistani rule over their land and do not feel any belonging with their ruling junta, feel of oppression is evident as Baloch population area in both Iran and Pakistan lack addressing infrastructural and economy issues. Smuggling and Drug Trafficking ruined the economy of the area, which automatically diverts youth from getting education and prove them self’s for the betterment of the region, drugs are easily available in both sides. Balochistan also lies in the busiest route of drug trafficking to the entire world.
Mr. Rigi, sometimes during his video speeches conveyed to the world that he belongs to a much deprived and socially neglected Sunni minority of Iran and on those same videos he is also seen as giving moral building speeches to his fellow comrades on the basis of Baloch rights; which clearly contradicts the first one as natinalism and islamic fundementalism do not mingle with each other. He also tried to get support from other pure Baloch militant organization as declared a new organization but failed on the very name of the it as he named it “People Resistance Movement of Iran”, A quite interesting fact is as there are other communities in Iran whom follow Sunni sect of Islam are estimated to be 9 % and there Baloch comprise of only 1 % of whole Iranian population but support from other Sunnis groups was invincible to the Sunni cause of Abdul Malik Rigi and Jandullah.
Pakistan may have helped Iran to arrest Abdul Malik Rigi, In recent years Pakistan extradited Haider Riasani and Malik Rigi’s own brother Abdul Hameed Rigi to the iranian authorities, the initial reports suggest that Malik Rigi was flying in a aeroplane and after his plane was forced to land, after checking the plane occupants the autorities were surprized to find Abdul Malik Rigi the most wanted man in Iran. This claim is full of doubts as some reports of another government official where he is claiming Rigi was arrested after a fierce gun battle. Past arrests of foregin nationals in Pakistan is not a new phenomena the after the arrest and extradiction of Aimal Kansi for his alleged involvment in first WTC attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad Al-Baloshi 9/11 matermind, Sheikh Al-Libi and some estimated suggests Pakistan helped America with the arrest of some 800 people belonging to other nationalities, there for their may be some strong assumptions that Paksitani intelligence may have handed over Abdul Malik Rigi to Iran.
Issue of religious fundamentalism of Jandullah, and without going to their debate of right or wrong, their execution style of the kidnapped people was quite new to Baloch movement and that was believed to be the main reason Rigi not getting any popular support from Baloch masses.
Malik Rigi arrest may prove a temporary halt in the insurrection against the Iranian Regime but it’s very hard to completely disconnect the Baloch insurgency as history is evidence to such tendency to revolt against Iranian authority.