Balochistan Liberation Army's female suicide bomber Shari Baloch is being widely revered in her community days after she carried out an attack inside the University of Karachi, killing 3 Chinese nationals. #ShariTheLegend is trending on Twitter and a video of hers shot before the suicide attack is being widely circulated.
CCTV footage from outside the University of Karachi's Confucius Institute reveals Shari carrying the explosives in a bag, as a university staff member minivan was approaching. The explosion killed three Chinese educators, institute director Huang Guiping, language instructors Ding Mupeng and Chen Sai, along with the van's Pakistani driver Khalid Nawaz.
The attack was claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a separatist group identified as a terrorist organization by Pakistan, US and the UK. The group has been in a constant struggle with the Pakistani security forces for nearly two decades fighting for Balochistan's independence.
Post BRI announcement, the BLA has shifted its focus to Chinese nationals residing in Pakistan. They believe this is an easy way to display their resistance to Beijing's projects that will only exploit the region's resources.
Who is Shari Baloch?
According to IANSLive, the BLA released an 8-minute video message by Shari Baloch, a 30-year-old school teacher, on Saturday night where she confidently and emotionally reveals that the reason why she took the decision to carry out the suicide attack was because she wants a free Baloch nation. She expressed her frustration against slavery and barbarism faced by the Balochistan province.
In the video she is encouraging the Baloch women to unite and join the war of liberation, she said, "We can do politics, lead protests, attain education, and sit on roads for the recovery of our loved ones, then we can also take part in this war of liberation for Balochistan," IANSLive reported.
Member of Majeed Brigade
BLA, in an official statement, disclosed that Shari had voluntarily joined the suicide bombing wing, the Majeed Brigade, two years ago, and later signed up for a "self-sacrificing mission." She emphasized on the fact that there was no need for her to take such a harsh decision and end her life but in the end it all came down to their independence, "I don't need to do this as I have a prosperous life but I am still taking this decision, and I have no regrets."
Her decision has indeed been accepted by the Baloch people, even though it did not have much to do with the secular trends in Balochistan liberation movement. Shari's daring act and the patriotic sentiment behind it have been venerated in the Baloch community, with many even naming their new-born daughters after her.
Apart from her own community, the first Baloch Fidayeen has also drawn attention from other communities in Pakistan. Sindh separatists similarly have vocalized their admiration for Shari by trending her photos and videos on Twitter.