Imran defends alleged Balochi terror suspects in court

Former Cricketer Imran KhanLondon, Jan 9 : Former Pakistani cricket captain and Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan has told a British court that he supported the right for people to take up arms against their government if there was no longer any other democratic alternative for them to pursue.

Khan made the remarks at the trial at Woolwich Crown Court of Faiz Balochi and Hyrbair Marri, who deny inciting murder in Pakistan, The Independent reports.

Balochi, 27, and his co-defendant, Hyrbair Marri, 40, are on trial at Woolwich Crown Court accused of gathering information to help the Baluchistan Liberation Army, which is proscribed in Britain, and inciting murder in Pakistan via websites from their homes in London.

Human rights groups have accused the Pakistani military of human rights violations in Balochistan, a western province of Pakistan.

Asked by Balochi's defence counsel, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, whether the people of Balochistan had "other avenues" besides military to "assert the will of the people", Khan replied: "Absolutely not. In Balochistan there was military action going on, [so] there was no way of redressing the people's grievances."

Balochi, a Balochistani nationalist, was branded a terrorist after attempting to highlight the "brute violence, death and destruction" being meted out to his people by Musharraf's Government.

Earlier, Baloch said that after he came to Britain, he helped set up the Balochwarna. org (Baloch Youth) website and posted news reports there "to bring the plight of the Baloch nation to the attention of the international community."

Asked if he believed in terrorism, Baloch said: "I don't," adding: "Terrorism is the indiscriminate killing of innocent people just to terrorise people, to harass them."

Balochistan is the largest of Pakistan's four provinces, although the region also spills over the borders in to Afghanistan and Iran, where Baluch was born.

In recent years, Balochis demanding independence for the region have engaged in violent opposition to the Pakistani Government under the name of the BLA. (ANI)