Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Nawab Akbar Shahbaz Khan Bugti (Urdu: نواب اکبر شہاز خان بگٹی) (July 12, 1927–August 26, 2006) was the Tumandar (head) of the Bugti tribe of Baloch and served as Minister of State for Interior and Governor of Balochistan Province in Pakistan.
He received his early education from Allama I. I. Kazi. An Oxford[1]-educated man, he was a towering personality in Baloch politics for more than five decades. He was a feudal sardar at his core. He ruled the estimated 250000 bugti tribe. He owned his own army, his own fort and own jails where he would keeps his opponents as well as commoners.
He main source of income was from commission he extracted from Sui (natural) gas fields amounting estimated £1 million a year and provided security to the fields for estimated £15000 per month.His province despite having enormous mineral riches has remained backward since Pakistan's independence.
After an armed struggle started in Balochistan in 2004, Bugti was widely perceived as a leader but went underground in 2005. On August 26, 2006, after several attempts were made on his life in the preceding months,[2] he was killed in his cave in Kohlu, about 150 miles east of Quetta, leading to widespread unrest in the area, where he is widely regarded as a hero and martyr.
With a wide following that crossed tribal lines among ethnic Baloch groups, the contradictions in this western educated tribal leader roused strong emotions, both positive and negative. Despite making harsh decisions at times, he was considered a pacifist by many and certainly did not espouse a violent path in his early political career. In recent years, he was accused by the Pakistani government of being a warlord and running a well-organized militia, sometimes thought to be the shadowy Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) with members numbering in the thousands. The BLA allegedly ran dozens of militant guerrilla training camps. While campaigning from the mountain ranges of Dera Bugti, he was, according to the Pakistani government, directing a “Omar Mukhtar, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara” style guerrilla war. In July 2006, Pakistani president General Musharraf targeted him through aerial bombing, using air force jets and gunship helicopters. The leader of Balochistan National Party, Sardar Akhtar Mengal said, "The increase in bomb attacks in the Bugti and Marri areas are meant to target Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and his associates" and called upon the international community to take note of the situation.[3]
The tribal militias of Nawab Akber Bugti were converted into the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) in 2003. It aimed at countering Marris’ BLA and at getting assistance from Russia and India, who were supporting the BLA of Marris.According to a report in the Urdu daily Ummat of Karachi, ( 7 December 2005) a Hindu leader from Dera Bugti and the former member of Balochistan Provincial Assembly, Arjun Das Bugti is the link between Indian secret agencies and the Bugtis. Arjun Das shifted to New Delhi in 2001. The BLA commanders take a proper oath from new recruits and pay them Rs 2,000 and 3,000 a month. Nawab Akbar Bugti pays household expenditure to the militants’ families.According to an official source Brahamdagh Bugti alias Chaakar-i-Azam and Commander Bangaam Karmazai are in charge for smuggling the weapons. These commanders also are taking care the kidnapping for ransom operations. Usually they kidnapped industrialists and rich businessmen from Karachi and Central Sindh. The grand son of Nawab Akbar Bugti, the head of the Bugti tribe and the Jamhoori Watoon Party (JWP) Brahamdagh Bugti holds the command of the organization.[1]
With names such as The Tiger of Balochistan, The Trade Unionist, or Gas Man (supposedly having ownership of many gasfields), he was a towering figure in the Baloch world. The longstanding conflict in Balochistan stems from the quantum of autonomy the province was promised when they joined Pakistan in 1947 and then under the 1973 Pakistani constitution. Today a large faction continues to campaign, sometimes violently, for an autonomy which Balochistan's citizens believe to be their due under the promises made to them by various Pakistani leaders. The BLA is painted by the Pakistani government as a "great threat" to law and order in Balochistan and was recently banned by the Government of Pakistan as well as by the United Kingdom.
Akbar Bugti was the son of Nawab Mehrab Khan Bugti and a grandson of Sir Shahbaz Khan Bugti. He was born in Barkhan the rural home of the rustic Khetran a ( Marri-Bugti ) Baloch tribe to which his mother belonged and now an upgraded district of Balochistan, on July 12, 1927. He was educated at Oxford, England and Aitchison College, Lahore. It is alleged that he committed his first murder when he was only 12 and that he had several men killed to avenge the assassination of his son, (Salal Bugti). Nawab Akbar Bugti was elected in a by-election to the National Assembly of Pakistan in May 1958 to fill the vacancy created as a result of the assassination of the incumbent, Dr Khan Sahib, and sat on the government bench as a member of the ruling coalition.
Bugti (Republican) served as Minister of State (Interior) in the government of Prime Minister Malik Sir Feroz Khan Noon (Republican) from September 20, 1958, to October 7, 1958, when the cabinet was dismissed on the declaration of Martial Law by President Iskander Mirza.
He was arrested and convicted by a Military Tribunal in 1960 and subsequently disqualified from holding public office. As a result of his legal battles, he did not contest the 1970 general elections. Instead, he campaigned on behalf of his younger brother, Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Bugti, a candidate of the National Awami Party.