Jam Yousaf’s revelations about Nawab Bugti’s killing

Jam Mohammad Yousaf

The Baloch Hal Editorial: Jam Yousaf’s revelations about Nawab Bugti’s killingJan 21st, 2010

By Malik Siraj Akbar

Former prime minister of Pakistan Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and ex-chief minister of Balochistan Jam Mir Mohammad Yousaf, both senior leaders of previous ruling party, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Quaid-e-Azam), have initiated a war of media statements against each other. In a revealing media statement, Jam Yousaf has directly held former Prime Minister Jamali responsible for the murder of Nawab Mohammad Akbar Khan Bugti, a leading Baloch tribal chief who also served as the governor and chief minister of Balochistan and was killed in a mysterious military operation in August 2006.

Jam Yousaf, in an interview with a national news agency, claimed that Jamali was directly responsible for the killing of Nawab Bugti as he allegedly played a vital role in worsening the political and security situation in Balochistan that subsequently culminated in the assassination of Nawab Bugti.

Jam Yousaf is widely regarded as an introvert man who refrains from regularly talking to the media. His recent interview is significant for the reason that he has, for the first time, bluntly disclosed several important developments that took place during his provincial government. Yousaf’s detractors will surely contest the veracity of his account of the recent history. Yousaf has challenged Jamali to provide any evidence if he has in his possession in which the former requested for a military operation meant to kill Nawab Bugti. According to him, the provincial government under his leadership had solely requested for deployment of the army at Sui to protect the gas plant. However, this decision was not taken by the then chief minister alone nor did he appeal to the federal government to unleash an operation against Nawab Bugti.

Yousaf disclosed that he had been assured by the then Corps Commander Quetta and Governor Balochistan Awais Ahmed Ghani that no operation would be carried out against Nawab Bugti. Having been assured by two key officials that no operation would take place against Bugti, Yousaf decided to leave for Karachi where he came to know about the killing of the 79-year old Baloch tribal-cum-political leader.

The former chief minister, who is now a member of the National Assembly, has made it clear that the army is not under the control of any chief minister. Therefore, the chief minister was not taken into confidence or consultation when operations were launched in Dera Bugti, Sui and other parts of Balochistan. Equating the situation of Sui and Dera Bugti with the current circumstances in Quetta where the provincial government headed by Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani has called for the Frontier Corps (FC) for deployment to grapple with the law and order problems, the previous government, recalled Yousaf, also had to call for the help of the military to restore peace in Sui after the gang rap of Dr. Shazia Khalid, an employee of Pakistan Petroleum Limited allegedly raped by a military captain, and firing of rockets on the gas installations.

Interestingly, the former chief minister also did not hesitate from pointing fingers at many of the ministers in his cabinet who approved of the military’s deployment in Sui by saying that they are also a part of the provincial government as well as the cabinet.

“I instructed former federal secretary for petroleum, Abdullah Yousaf, to go and negotiate with Nawab Bugti but he was stopped by Zafarullah Jamali who said that since the prime minister (Jamali) had not granted approval to the secretary to meet Nawab Bugti then why was he insisting to go there,” he revealed, “the onus of killing Nawab Bugti fully lies on Zafarullah Khan Jamali. I challenge him to substantiate that I requested him in black and white to carry out an operation against Nawab Bugti. Jamali is presenting distorted facts to gain public sympathies.”

Yousaf is among several others implicated by Jamil Akbar Bugti, a son of late Nawab Akbar Bugti, for the high-profile killing that totally changed the face of politics and society in Balochistan. The others implicated in the case, which is still pending at Balochistan High Court, are former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf, former Balochistan governor Awais Ahmed Ghani and ex-home minister Mir Shoaib Nosherwani.

Jam Yousaf is right when he says that he is not solely responsible for killing Nawab Bugti. In fact, Nawab Bugti was killed by a barbaric system and a group of anti-Baloch elite in the power. Therefore, all eyes are focused on the upcoming verdict given by the Balochistan High Court in Jamil Bugti’s case. It seems there is too little realization in the ruling quarters what bringing the murderers of Nawab Bugti to justice means to the people of Balochistan. The way General Musharraf was given a guard of honor and allowed to freely escape the country and how Awais Ahmed Ghani was appointed as the governor of Pakhtunkhawa province implicitly indicates that the prime suspects of Bugti’s killing are still enjoying the backing of the powerful ruling sections of the establishment.

Jam Yousaf may not be fully innocent as he has argued in his interview. Yet, this interview reasserts the need for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to expose all the hidden and relative visible faces responsible for igniting an infinite conflagration in Balochistan.

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