Cases against Bramdagh Bugti, Dr. Allah Nizar, 87 others withdraw
By Malik Siraj Akbar
QUETTA:The government of Balochistan on Wednesday announced the withdrawal of 89 cases registered against different Baloch nationalist leaders, including Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti, Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Jamil Bugti, in an effort to reconcile with the annoyed leaders of Balochistan.
According to official sources, Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani immediately issued orders to meet with the directives issued by Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani following his speech in the National Assembly that politically-motivated cases against the Baloch leaders should be withdrawn. All cases dating back to year 2000 have been taken back by the government against the nationalist leaders.
The biggest surprise came after the government agreed to withdraw cases against Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti, the chief of Baloch Republican Party (BRP) whom Islamabad accuses of having taken shelter in Afghanistan and operating with the alleged support of India. Previously, the federal government, while unveiling the Balochistan package, had refused to give concession to leaders who were wanted in “terrorist cases” and Bramdagh Bugti had been categorized among such leaders allegedly responsible for creating law and order problems in Balochistan.
The government has also decided to withdraw cases against former Balochistan chief minister and the president of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Jamil Akbar Bugti, a son of Nawab Akbar Bugti, Dr. Allah Nizar, a former chairman of the Baloch Students’ Organization (BSO) who is believed to be the mastermind of the Baloch armed resistance in Awaran area.
However, several Baloch leaders against whom cases were withdrawn rejected the government initiative by terming it as an effort to mitigate the Baloch nationalistic movement which intends to seek independence of Balochistan.
Habib Jalib Baloch, secretary general of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) against whom the government withdrew a case entailing sedition, told the Baloch Hal a similar promise of taking cases back had been made by chief minister Nawab Raisani when he took over but those cases still existed against the Baloch leaders.
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“Today (Wednesday) I appeared before a court in Quetta to face sedition charges because of a speech I had made in Panjgur. My party Chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal has also been implicated in this case,” he said, “how come the government continues to run cases against us in different courts and tell the media that these cases are taken back?”
As the BNP secretary general demanded more confidence building measures to be taken by the government, he was reminded of the official decision to deploy the Frontier Corps in place of the army at Kohlu cantonment. In response Jalib said there was no difference between the military and the Frontier Corps. According to him, the Balochistan military operation is being unleashed by the army, FC, law enforcement agencies and intelligence services collectively.
“We have no faith in the government. We want the deployment of the United Nations pace keeping forces in Balochistan so that peace is maintained,” he suggested, adding that the government must release 992 missing persons as officially confirmed. The BNP senior leader also demanded the complete cancellation of Gwadar Port and Sandik Copper project as they were, in his words, “anti-Baloch” projects.
Dr. Abdul Hakeem Lehri, a member of the Central Committee of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP), said he was not sure what case had actually been registered against him. He added that he had no regrets in speaking against the country as he did not view Pakistan his country.
“Our stance is very clear that we are fighting for the independence of Balochistan. We do not care about the registration or withdrawal of cases. We do not understand why the government withdrew the cases against us when we never requested for it nor did we ever feel guilty about it,” he said.
Dr. Lehri said the government was “joking” with the Balochs by offering them packages and amnesty. He complained that a central leader of his party, Sangat Sana, had been whisked away by the intelligence agencies days after the announcement of the Balochistan package by the federal government.
Baloch Bar Association President, Sadiq Raisani, against whom the government also decided to withdraw cases, said he was feeling very proud that the government had to finally surrender before him. “I do not mind if 200 cases are registered against me if talking for separation is a crime. I have no regrets over my anti-Pakistan activities,” he remarked.
Other such leaders against whom the government withdrew cases, Shahzaib Baloch, president of Quetta zone of the Baloch Students Organization (BSO), rejected the government decision saying that their steadfastness had finally compelled the government to take the cases back against him and several other Baloch leaders.
“The government must not live under illusion that it will weaken Balochistan’s war of resistance and separation by offering packages and amnesty. We are a nation that is proud of giving sacrifices for its motherland. Cases do not mean anything to us,” he warned.
Zaib, who had been whisked away allegedly by the state intelligence agencies earlier this year for two months, said he viewed the official decision as a landmark achievement for him as he had forced the government to surrender before his determination.
According to the government announcement, cases have been withdrawn against Dr. Bashir Azeem Baloch, secretary general of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP), Dr. Abdul Hayee Baloch, former president of the National Party (NP), Senator Lashkari Raisani, Balochistan president of the Pakistan People’s Party, Asif Baloch of the Baloch Students Organization, Abid Shah (BSO), Gulzar Baloch (BSO), Amanullah Baloch (BSO), Shakar Bibi (Baloch Womens’ Panel-BWP), Farida Baloch (BWP), Farzana Baloch (BWP), Dr. Hani Baloch (BWP), Gul Bibi Baloch (BWP), Agha Hassan Baloch (BNP), Sikandar Kurd (BRP), Sohail Rajpoot (Jamori Watan Party), Ayaz Swathi (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz), Usman Kakar (PKMP), Hamid Achakzai (PKMP), Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal (PKMP) and Nasarullah Zeray (PKMP)
Among these 89 cases, 46 were registered in Quetta, 15 in Khuzdar, 4 in Gwadar and Panjgur each, 3 in Nasirabad, Kalat and Kech respectively, 2 in Qila Saifullah and Lasbela each while one in Qila Abdullah, Noshaki, Kharan and Awaran.