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Home Ministry Examining Political Asylum Plea Of Baloch Leader Brahamdagh Bugti

The Home Ministry has received Baloch leader Brahumdagh Bugti's application for political asylum in India and the matter is under the government's consideration, an official source said on Thursday.

Bugti applied at the Indian consulate in Geneva earlier this week for asylum in India and the application was routed to the Home Ministry through the External Affairs Ministry. The Home Ministry officials are examining all pros and cons of the issue, including tracking files related to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama's asylum way back in 1959. The Dalai Lama was granted asylum in the late fifties more as a "spiritual leader", officials said.

There are some legal issues related to the asylum in India as things are not well defined. India has not signed the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees. Even Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen has been living in India since the mid-90s under an annually renewable long-term visa after the backlash in Bangladesh over her book 'Lajja'.

Bugti, founder-President of the Baloch Republican Party, fled Pakistan in 2010 and has been staying in Geneva. Asked why he was seeking asylum in India, Bugti said: "I am unable to move from Switzerland, which is frustrating. Being a representative of my people I need to sit in international forums, especially in the US, and discuss our issues with the lawmakers and Congressmen there to expose the real face of Pakistan."

In his August 15 Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the Balochistan issue to attack Pakistan's alleged human right violations and use of force. Brahumdagh Bugti is the grandson of wellknown Baloch leader and head of Bugti tribe, Nawab Akbar Bugti. He fled to Afghanistan from Balochistan after Akbar Bugti was killed in an Pakistan Army offensive in 2006. Brahumdagh is living in Switzerland since 2010.

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