The body in that coffin was not my father’s: Jamil Bugti

By Malik Siraj Akbar

QUETTA: Jamil Bugti, the 57-year-old son of late Nawab Akbar Bugti, says his family is convinced that the dead body presented by the government in a padlocked coffin was not his father’s. In an interview with Daily Times, he complained of discriminatory and humiliating treatment meted out to him and his family by the government, and also of the failure of human rights organisations to protect them from ‘state victimisation’. After the burial of the late nawab, which no member of the Bugti family was allowed to attend, Jamil says the family demanded that a medical board conduct DNA tests to confirm whether or not the body in the padlocked coffin was actually Akbar Bugti’s. Their appeals fell on deaf ears, he said. “We believe that the body in that coffin was not my father’s. The nawab was killed with lethal weapons. Therefore, the government did all it could to avoid conducting DNA tests,” Bugti said. “No matter how much time passes, our demand will remain in place. We seek help from the world community, especially human rights and medical groups in conducting the DNA test,” he added. Jamil says the state will not even allow him to visit his father’s grave in Dera Bugti to offer fateha. However, he refuses to issue such a request to the government. “They want us to beg them for permission to visit our ancestral town. I would hate to be boarded on a military helicopter to visit Dera Bugti,” he says. He alleges that the state has persecuted his family since the killing of Nawab Bugti in a military operation on August 26 last year. Unlike his elder stepbrother, Talal Bugti, and other key officer-bearers of the Bugti-founded Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP)—which is currently plagued with severe infighting—Jamil refuses to join hands with the government. “The government has made our lives miserable to punish us. The government has frozen my bank account, my wife’s and those of several members of my family. My weapons licences have also been cancelled while the licences of tribal and political opponents have been renewed by the government,” he said. Jamil rules out any possibility of joining hands with the government. He says, “Would you negotiate with your father’s killers? If you would not like it for yourself, why would anyone suggest that I talk with my father’s killers?” malik siraj akbar

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