Baloch leader Ghazain Marri has been arrested on his arrival in Quetta following an 18-year-old self-exile in Dubai. Reports suggest that he has been shifted to an undisclosed location. A major charge against the Baloch leader is his alleged involvement in the murder of Balochistan High Court judge Mir Muhammad Nawaz Marri in January 2000. He has denied this charge. Before his arrival in Quetta, Marri had said that he was not yet sure of joining a particular political party but he wanted ‘to be with his people’. Marri also denounced a poster campaign against Pakistan in Geneva. If the government wants to press charges against Marri, it is imperative that the law enforcement agencies present him in a court of law without any delay. The due process of the law must be allowed to take its course. It would not be right for law enforcement agencies to keep him at an undisclosed location on legal pretexts originally allowed for a particular situation – religious terrorism. These pretexts should not be applied to a man who is denouncing Baloch separatists and is likely to join the mainstream political process. Marri is the younger brother of Balach Marri, the slain leader of the separatist Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) that has been accused of attacks on security forces. But his relationship to BLA leaders cannot be held against him if he is willing to play a role for peaceful resolution of longstanding Baloch grievances. It would be a mistake of great proportion if the authorities prevent him from doing so merely on the basis of grudges from the past. Commenting on Marri’s decision to return to Quetta, Balochistan government spokesperson Anwarul Haq Kakar said that the provincial government had no objection to his homecoming, and that if there were any cases against him he would have to ‘face them in the court of law’. That will be the correct course of action. The province has suffered for far too long and poorly thought out policies cannot be allowed to perpetuate the suffering of the Baloch people anymore. * Published in Daily Times, September 23rd 2017.