Switzerland bans Mehran Marri, detains the Baloch leader with family at Zurich airport

Online: Swiss Government has placed a “lifetime entry ban” on Baloch leader Mehran Marri on the request of Islamabad.

Mehran Marri, prominent Baloch leader and unofficial representative of Balochistan at UNHRC was traveling to Switzerland to attend a joint conference scheduled to be held in Geneva on November 18th where various Baloch leaders would meat to formulate a uniform strategy for the independence of Baluchistan from Pakistan.

The news of his detention erupted on media when he tweeted about his detention at Zurich Airport on Thursday.  He, with his four sons and wife, is detained by Swiss immigration authorities which informed him about the “lifetime entry ban” in Switzerland placed upon him on the request of Pakistan Government.

According to the news, Swiss foreign ministry officials met Mehran Marri and handed over a dossier explaining the “entry ban” on the pretext of his alleged involvement in the ongoing insurgency in Balochistan while he has been told that he reserves the right to challenge the decision. Mehran Marri rejected the allegations of involvement in insurgency while denouncing the decision as political.

“My father spent many years in far worse conditions, but never gave up. The peaceful and legal struggle for an independent Balochistan free of Pakistani occupation shall continue no matter what the Punjabi generals & babus of that excuse of a country plan. The long arm of the Pakistan’s billionaire Army Generals sure reach far beyond their bank accounts” he tweeted.

The decision has also drawn criticism from various political leaders of Sindh and Balochistan.

Exiled Sindhi leader Shafi Burfat speaking on detention stated, “The detention of Mehran Marri and the lifetime ban on his entry in Switzerland by Swiss authorities is very discouraging and sorrowful incident. Mehran Marri is a secular political pro-independence Baloch leader who has been politically struggling for the independence of occupied Balochistan.”

“The lifetime ban on his entry on the request of the pan-Islamic theocratic fascist state of Pakistan is synonymous with supporting Pakistan in Baloch genocide” he added.

Brahamdagh Bugti, the exiled leader of Baloch Republican Party and organizer of the meeting between Baloch Leaders scheduled on November 18th in Geneva, has also criticized the lifetime entry ban upon Mehran Marri. “Really shocked that Mehran Marri was stopped at Zürich airport and banned to enter Switzerland on Islamabad’s request. How a neutral country like Switzerland can do that” he stated.

According to “The News International”, a source in Pakistan Foreign Office has confirmed their request to Swiss authorities to ban the entry and activities of Mehran Marri and Brahamdagh Bugti accompanied by the handing over of dossiers alleging their involvement in anti-state militancy in Balochistan.