Justice for Nawab Bugti

Arrest warrants for former president, General Pervez Musharraf, and former prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, were issued on Friday in the Bugti murder case. Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed in a military operation back in 2006. Shaukat Aziz denies his role in the murder and is of the view that Bugti died when his hideout in the mountains collapsed under fire from forces responding to attacks. If Nawab Bugti had died due to the cave collapsing, why was he buried in such haste? Bugti’s body was not handed over to his family. Under such circumstances, the Bugti family is entitled to answers and closure as well. It is almost impossible for a common man to get justice in Pakistan but even the Bugtis, a powerful family, had to run from pillar to post to get an FIR filed after the death of Nawab Akbar Bugti, a prominent man. Balochistan has suffered far more than any other province at the hands of our military.

Apart from Musharraf and Shaukat Aziz, the Bugti family have named former Balochistan governor Owais Ghani, former Balochistan chief minister Jam Muhammad Yousaf, the then interior minister Aftab Ahmad Sherpao and home minister Mir Shoaib Nosherwani. The Balochistan High Court (BHC) had already issued the arrest warrants for Nosherwani while the other three took the plea that Nawab Bugti was killed by the military and they were part of the civilian set-up. Responsibility for Bugti’s murder cannot be shrugged off so easily under the garb of being in the ‘civilian’ set-up when they knew full well what was going on. It was a blatant murder and then there was a cover-up. The military and the high officials of the so-called civilian government must be held accountable for their role in Bugti’s death. The judicial system must deliver justice. Arresting a former military dictator would also set a new precedent in Pakistan’s history. It would give a clear message to the military high command that their injustices will not be tolerated any more. Our justice system is skewed in favour of the rich and the powerful. This must change, as the law should be equal for everyone. If General Musharraf and the rest of his co-accused are as innocent as they claim, they are free to prove it in a court of law. They can have their day in court and let justice prevail.

(my editorial in Daily Times)

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