November 02, 2011

Bugti murder case: BHC tells govt to seek Musharraf’s extradition

Shahzad Baloch

http://tribune.com.pk/story/286049/bugti-murder-case-bhc-orders-govt-to-extradite-musharraf-shaukat-aziz/

QUETTA: The Balochistan High Court (BHC) has directed the federal government to seek extradition of former president Pervez Musharraf, former prime minister Shaukat Aziz and other accused in the Nawab Akbar Bugti murder case who are currently not residing in Pakistan.

“The federal government is directed to seek extradition of those accused residing in treaty states whose arrest warrants have been issued by the competent court of law,” the bench ordered.

The court also directed that minutes of federal and provincial cabinet meetings that were held when Bugti was killed should be collected.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Abdul Qadir Mengal, issued directives before disposing off the petition filed by Nawabzada Jamil Akbar Bugti, the oldest surviving son of Nawab Akbar Bugti.

Copies of arrest warrants for Musharraf and Aziz were submitted before the BHC. Jamil had stated in his petition that the murder case was not being investigated “properly”, since no efforts had been made to record statements or arrest the accused nominated in the FIR registered at the Dera Bugti Police Station.

‘We knew nothing’

Deputy Attorney-General Malik Sikandar submitted Aziz’s statement in Tuesday’s hearing, in which he had said that he was “used as a tool” by then president Musharraf and had nothing to do with the Bugti murder case. However, it stated, he will extend his cooperation to the court during investigations.

Recently, arrest warrants were issued for not only Musharraf and Aziz, but also former home minister and sitting Member of Provincial Assembly Shoaib Ahmed Nosherwani of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid. Other accused who are nominated in the FIR include former Balochistan governor Owais Ghani, former federal interior minister Aftab Sherpao, and former chief minister and sitting Member of National Assembly Jam Mir Mohammad Yusuf.

According to sources within the home department, the crime branch has filed a formal request with them for extradition of Yusuf.

Ghani, who was then governor, also submitted a reply and stated that although he was the constitutional head of Balochistan, he was unaware of the military operation until it took place. “There may have been talks between the federal and provincial government about the operation but I do not know about them,” he stated.

Sherpao’s statement said that he was in Peshawar when Bugti was killed and only came to know of the murder through government and media sources. “Jamil nominated me as an accused just because I was interior minister at the time,” he said. He also assured the court that he will cooperate during investigation.

Jamil ‘not satisfied’

Talking to journalists outside the court, Jamil said he was not satisfied with the investigation. “The court merely issued directives and did its job, but now it is the responsibility of the executive to implement these directives. The statements by Aziz and others accused submitted to court are surprising because everyone seems to be trying to blame each other for the murder,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2011.

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