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India Set To Offer Political Asylum To Baloch Leaders

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation on 70th Independence Day from Red Fort on Monday. (File Photo: BJP)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation on 70th Independence Day from Red Fort on Monday. (File Photo: BJP)

Two days ago at the United Nations General Assembly Baloch leaders, protested outside the Broken Chair statue highlighting their sufferings at the hands of Pakistan's Army.

India is all set to grant political asylum to the Baloch leaders who are fighting for independence from Pakistan, top sources in the government told CNN-News18 on Friday.

Sources said they wanted the Baloch leaders to formally apply for asylum and that this would be granted in a matter of a few weeks.

Brahmagadh Bugti, the most prominent Baloch leader, told CNN-News18 he welcomed the move and called it "historic". The last time India granted political asylum was to the Dalai Lama in 1959.

Bugti says the biggest difficulty for him and other Baloch leaders who are living in exile is the lack of travel documents. When granted asylum, Bugti would get an Indian passport which would enable him to travel to other countries.

He has thanked Prime Minister Modi for raising this issue in his Independence Day speech, after which the Baloch issue has gained international momentum.

Two days ago at the United Nations General Assembly Baloch leaders, protested outside the Broken Chair statue highlighting their sufferings at the hands of Pakistan's Army.

This comes on a day Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to speak to Kashmiri leaders in PoK.

He is expected to highlight the ongoing Kashmir unrest at the UN General Assembly next week. India is hoping to blunt this Pakistan strategy by highlighting the plight of the Baloch people when Sushma Swaraj speaks at the UNGA next week.

first published:September 16, 2016, 15:00 IST