• Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 05:30

Ahmar Mustikhan (Blog) | January 9, 2015 | 3.35 PM IST

Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, the“terror boat” incident in the waters of the Arabian Sea appears to have left at least one provincial government in southwestern Pakistan quite nervous.

The reason is the boat reportedly belonged to fugitive drug kingpin and suspected operative of the Inter Services Intelligence Imam Bheel, who is suspected to be the chief financier of the ruling National Party. “It was indeed loaded with the second line of merchandise dealt by him,” a senior official in Quetta, who works for an international agency said Tuesday from Quetta, capital of Balochistan, explaining that by the second line of merchandise he meant “scotch whiskey.” Bheel is a multibillionaire heroin smuggler, who was declared drug kingpin by president Obama in July 2009. Baloch nationalists accuse Bheel of working closely with the Inter Services Intelligence.

The Indian government official in media reports said the four people on the boat blew the vessel in mid-sea, 350 kms southwest of Porbandar, as Indian security forces closed on the boat. However, the Quetta official said that that the cause of the explosion appears firing either by the panicked officials or smugglers appear to have exploded the vessel. “Try firing a shot on 800 bottles of scotch. Fireworks!!,” he said,

A report in the Indian Express first reported the vessel belonged to Imam Bheel, aka Mohammed Hayat aka Mir Yaqub Bizenjo, who was declared a drug kingpin by who was inducted in the National Party, the ruling party in Balochistan coalition government the
following year.

However, there seems to be a deliberate attempt to hide Bheel’s involvement. A senior member of Imam Bheels party, former Senator Aslam Buledi could neither deny nor confirm if the vessel belonged to his party man. He said, “I don’t know,” when this correspondent contacted him. Hameed Baloch, senior vice president of the party, who also runs an Urdu newspaper Rahbar, said, he has not even heard or read anything about the incident involving Imam Bheel’s boat. “I do not know anything,” Hameed Baloch said on phone from Karachi.

Balochistan has a long 700-km coastline and Imam Bheel is known as the master of the Arabian Gulf waters. “The whole coastal area from Jiwani to Gwadar that includes the small towns of Pishukan, Pasni, Kalmat, Ormara is under the control of Imam Bheel,” a local Baloch journalist who is well aware of the goings on the waters across the Balochistan coast told this correspondent Monday, on condition he was not named. “Even in the Mumbai attacks of 26/11, Imam Bheel appears to have played a role in providing
logistical support,” the Baloch source said.

According to an investigative report by Reuters, Imam Bheel is a key gatekeeper in a heroin supply chain stretching from poppy fields in Afghanistan to street corners in the West. The report said President Barack Obama, ranks Bheel alongside drug lords from Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico. Another investigative report in Pakistan’s The News International said, Bheel “is considered more influential than any political party and mightier than any intelligence agency.” Imam Bheel had allegedly shot dead a senior official of Gwadar in front of his bungalow in Karachi three years ago but never got arrested because of his I.S.I. links.

Bheel works closely with the president of the National Party, Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo, who visited India to a peace conference that was also attended by Mani Shankar Aiyer some years back. Bizenjo and Aiyer are quite close. The National Party, which is basically Balochistan based, holds such clout in the Pakistani deep establishment that though Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League has more elected members in the Balochistan provincial or state assembly, the chief ministership of Balochistan province was given to Abdul Malik Baloch, former president the National Party.

Baloch insurgents in different armed groups have long suspected Bheel of being a key operative of the I.S.I. in Balochistan. Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch, chief of the Baloch Liberation Front, recently announced a huge catch of arms belonging to Imam Bheel was seized by B.L.F. guerrillas in Kech, home district of the Balochistan chief minister. “I.S.I. is trafficking drugs through Imam Bheel, CC member NP, to Europe & world worth 5b$ annually for military and logistic support to Jihadis,”

Dr Baloch said in a tweet. In summer 2009, just a month before Obama declared Bheel a kingpin, the B.L.F. dispatched a parcel bomb that left members of Bheel's family injured in Karachi.

Two and half years ago the B.L.F. also killed his right hand man Haji Lal Bakhsh aka Lalo, who is said to have been working closely with the I.S.I. station chief in Turbat named Colonel Mohammed Shakoor.

Meanwhile, the civil and political society were calling the “boat terror” a concocted story of the Indian government. Mohammed Ali Shah, chairman of the PFF disputed both the Indian Express report and the Indian government narration. Shah said the PFF used its network but have not been able to confirm the antecedents of the four sailors that were mentioned in the story. "If the four were killed where are the bodies he asked? If it was indeed an act of sabotage, why has there been no official protest from the Indian side."

Nabil Gabol, former speaker of the Sindh assembly, echoed the views of Shah. Gabol, who is now a member of the National Assembly and belongs to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement of London-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement, tweeted, "India is trying to engage Pakistan in a proxy war. India media spreading rumor a Pak boat intercepted and blown .Try us, we are ready."

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