December 22, 2010

BALOCHISTAN: Bugti's Grandson Shahzain Arrested on Weapon Smuggling Charges in Quetta

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: The president of Jamori Watan Party (JWP) Shahzain Bugti has been arrested by the Frontier Corps (FC) along with a heavy cache of weapons, confirmed Hamid Shakil, Deputy Inspector General (DIG-Operations).

Government sources said Shahzain’s 12-van convoy had been intercepted at around 4:00 a.m at Baleli check post in Quetta on Wednesday while on its way back from the Pak-Afghan border town of Chaman. The Baloch leader had gone to Chaman to offer fateha for Jeelani Khan Achakzai, a Pashtn leader. FC sources said they had received information that the grandson of late Nawab Akbar Bugti had purchased heavy contingent of arms and ammunition from Chaman and was now trying to bring back the weapons to Quetta.

Official sources said they had recovered48 Kalashnikovs, 4 Rocket Launchers, thousands of rockets, Mortar Shells, 5 anti-aircraft guns and 70,000 of rounds, FC told.

Officials detained Shahzain soon after recovering weapons from his convoy and shifted him to the F.C. headquarters on Hail Road. A private news channel said that the Baloch leader had endeavored to escape from the scene but was arrested along with some other members of his party.

Shahzain said he had been victimized by the security forces and was in talking to the U.S embassy about his arrest. The detention of the Baloch leader comes in the wake of his public announcement to lead a march from Kashmore in Sindh to his ancestral Dera Bugti on January 28th to resettle tens of thousands of Bugti tribesmen who were driven out of their homes because of the military operation former military dictator General Musharraf carried out in Balochistan.

Shahzain’s grandfather, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, a former chief minister and the governor of Balochistan, was killed at the age of 79 by the military in an operation on August 26, 2006 which intensified the ongoing Baloch nationalist movement and gave momentum to demands for separation from Pakistan.

The Bugti tribe lives in the resourceful district of Dera Bugti where natural gas was discovered in early 1950s.

Founded by late Nawab Bugti, the Jamori Watan Party broke into pieces soon after the killing of Nawab Bugti as Shahzain joined his father Talal Akbar Bugti to adopt a federalist approach while another grandson of Nawab Bugti, Bramdagh Bugti formed a pro-independent Balochistan party called the Baloch Republican Party (BRP).

The Bugtis were further divided after the government encouraged Mir Aali Bugti, a third grandson of late Nawab Bugti, to succeeded his grandfather as the head of the Bugti tribe, a decision Shahzaib and Bramdagh were both not very happy with.


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