Shahzain Bugti's arrest and the military establishment's new game in Balochistan

by admin

Cross-posted from The Baloch Hal

An Imposed Hero

Every day has a new reason why Balochistan must continue to remain unstable. While the assassination attempts on the lives of Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi and Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani still reverberate in our minds, the murders of two Baloch journalists add to our pessimism about a positive change in the state of affairs in the largest province.

In a fresh development which may contribute to chaos and disorder in some parts of Balochistan, the Frontier Corps (FC) arrested the provincial president of Jamori Watan Party (JWP) Shahzain Bugti. The FC says it received information from its “reliable sources” about the jounior Bugti coming from Pak- Afghan border district Chaman with a large quantity of newly purchased weapons hidden in all 12 cars in the convoy. Bugti’s convoy was intercepted at a check post near Baleli in the outskirts of Quetta. The Baloch leader was arrested and detained at FC headquarters.

According to Major General Ubaidullah, the Inspector General of the Frontier Corps (FC), Shahzain refused to allow checking of his van in spite of three-hour long negotiations with him. So far, no case has been registered against the Bugti leader because the officials say are still investigating him and hoping to get more information about ‘hidden weapons’.

Shahzain was quoted by a private news channel saying that the weapons actually belonged to the FC and he was being falsely implicated in the drug smuggling case. According to BBC Urdu Service, he said was innocent and a conspiracy had been plotted against him.
Shahzain has a valid point as common sense suggests that even the worst of all fools will not fill 12 vans with weapons and drive straight on a regular route with every possibility of being stopped, searched and arrested at umpteen of omnipresent check posts in and outside the provincial capital. As the new development was unfolding, the Bugti grandson flaunted ridiculously about his “foreign contacts” by saying he was going to contact the U.S embassy in Islamabad. On the other hand, Shahzain’s father Talal Bugti, who is the central head of the JWP, convened an urgent meeting of the party and condemned the arrest. The JWP meeting also deliberated over the future course of action in the wake of this fresh unanticipated development.

Shahzain is in fact the most overrated Baloch leader in the views of the Pakistani media. While he is a nobody in Balochistan’s complex politics, no other leader has gained so many opportunities of being depicted as a hero. The latest development once again looks like making a hero out of a non-entity in order to give birth to fake heroes to maintain the status quo in the province. A similar attempt was made much earlier by detaining Shahzain in the alleged custody of the Military Intelligence. There was a great fanfare and media hype about his release but the fellow did not emerge as a hero of the Baloch people. Yet again, the Sharifs of the Pakistan Muslim League also arranged a momentous trip to Lahore for father Talal and son Shahzain Bugti to present them as the genuine leaders of Balochistan.

Thelocal media in Lahore extensively covered the father-son yatra with over-excitment. They pretended to snub the fact that Jamori Watan Party was long dead with the demise of late Nawab Bugti while the father-son team had become less popular than Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti who had reconfigured JWP as the Baloch Republican Party (JWP).

Shahzain’s arrest coincides with the time when he announced to lead a long march of the Bugti internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Kashmor to Dera Bugti. The displaced Bugtis, who are a victim of former dictator General Musharraf’s antagonistic policies, have been yearning for a while to return home after six years of unmitigated sufferings. The long march, as announced, is scheduled for January 28th but political pundits see it skeptically because Shahzain had announced such plans on plenty of occasions in the past but never implemented them.

We urge the newly appointed Inspector General of the Frontier Corps (FC) to refrain from becoming a tool in the hands of the Establishment by hatching such ugly dramas on Balochistan’s political scene. Shahzain has a long way to go to become a popular leader of the Baloch masses, a goal he can soley accomplish by his own actions not by that of FC. Pitching him against cousin Bramdagh Bugti or any other Baloch leader is insane and a mere extension of Islamabad’s divide and rule game in Balochistan. Likewise, if such dramas backfire, moderate and pro-Islamabad leaders like Shahzain may also end up joining the separatist block.

8 Comments to “Shahzain Bugti's arrest and the military establishment's new game in Balochistan”

  1. Ayaz Amir, an MNA of PML-N also trying to establish Shahzain as a hero of Balochistan:

    Shahzain Bugti being held by the scruff of his neck as he was arrested…a photo, in the context of Balochistan, about as damaging as the one which showed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry being pushed by the head into a waiting car. Will we never learn?

  2. Another ISI’s stooge, Altaf Hussain, speaks in support of Shahzain Bugti, a hero in making:

    Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Thursday asked the government to refrain from taking any action that could ignite the situation in Balochistan.

    In a statement, Altaf condemned the arrest of Shahzain Bugti, the grandson of Akbar Bugti, and leader of the Jamhoori Watan Party.

  3. A challenger to Bramdagh?

    “Being framed”

    Mr. Bugti claimed he was being framed by the authorities to stop him from leading a march from Kashmore in Sindh to his ancestral Dera Bugti on January 28 to resettle his tribesmen who were driven out of their homes during the military operation conducted by the former President, Pervez Musharraf, in Balochistan.

    During this military operation, Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed in August 2006 and Balochistan has remained on the boil since.

    The JWP itself split as grandsons of the elderly leader of Balochistan differed with each other on the course of action. While the JWP, now headed by Shahzain Bugti’s father, has a federalist approach, another cousin Bramdagh Bugti — who heads the Baloch Republican Party and is alleged by Pakistan to have an Indian passport — is fighting for liberation.

  4. “Speaking to media”

    Speaking to newsmen on the occasion Shahzain said he has no connection with the weapons shown on media. It is a conspiracy to stop him from Dera Bugti long march. Secret agencies were involved in it.

    He said no one carries such huge weapons with him.

    He said his grandfather Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed under a conspiracy while he was also kept behind the bars during Musharraf regime in false cases. But he made it clear we are not afraid of jails. He said he suffered 8 months imprisonment during Musharraf period and he was released after dictatorial period was over. He said he would face charges and cases in the court. We have full trust in the courts.

    Answering a question he said charges of bringing illegal arms and ammunition against him are baseless.

    Had he brought such huge weapons, no one could stop him at Baleli Check post. He said if he could not go to Dera Bugti, his brother would definitely go there.

  5. Mohsin Baig’s online news agency reports that Cuaudhry Nisar laments Shahzain Bugti’s arrest:

    ISI + PML-N = Estbalishment’s narrative

    Arrest of Shahzain deplorable, says Nisar

    ISLAMABAD: Opposition leader Ch. Nisar Ali Khan has strongly condemned the behavior of security forces with Jamhori Watan Party’s (JWP) provincial leader Shahzain Bugti and termed it as deplorable.

    He was addressing to national assembly’s session on Thursday and demanded from government to look into matters related to Shahzain Bugti, US court’s summons issued for ISI officials and external dictations related to North Waziristan operation.

    He said everyone is well aware of the circumstances in Balochistan and how Shahzain Bugti was arrested by the security forces in Balochistan was insulting.

  6. Cross-posting a relevant comment by Shaheryar Ali:

    Shaheryar Ali says:
    November 25, 2010 at 5:02 pm (Edit)
    LUBP should be voice of the oppressed. I am sure it will focus on Balochistan. The state terrorism must be exposed and condemned and those who kill poor punjabi workers in Balochistan and deal with PML-Q and PML-N the mainstream punjabi chauvinists should also be condemned

  7. سید منور حسن کا شاہ زین بگٹی کی فوری رہائی کا مطالبہ

    Updated at 1745 PST

    لاہور…امیرجماعت اسلامی سید منورحسن نے شاہ زین بگٹی کی ساتھیوں سمیت فوری رہائی کا مطالبہ کرتے ہوئے کہا ہے کہ حکومت بلوچستان کے حالات مزید خراب کرنے سے باز رہے۔منصورہ لاہور سے جاری بیان میں سید منور حسن کا کہنا تھا کہ بلوچستان کے عوام ابھی تک نواب اکبر بگٹی کا قتل نہیں بھولے اوراب شاہ زین بگٹی کو گرفتار کر کے حالات خراب کیے جا رہے ہیں۔ان کا کہنا تھا کہ بلوچستان میں پانچواں فوجی آپریشن ہورہا ہے،ملک میں جمہوری حکومت ہے تو اسے عوام کے خلاف فوجی آپریشن بند کر دینا چاہیے۔سید منور حسن نے معاملے کی آزاد عدالتی تحقیقات کا مطالبہ کیا ۔

  8. Shahzain Bugti a puppet of establishment: Bramdagh

    * BRP chief claims Shahzain is Punjabi, not Baloch, has been installed in Dera Bugti for a mission

    * Says he will support anyone fighting for right, honour of Baloch

    By Ali K Chishti

    Q: What do you think about Shazain Bugti’s recent arrest?

    Bramdagh: That was a joke of the highest order. The Baloch are no fools that they would not understand that a person who is controlled by the agencies could be arrested. It was all orchestrated to, give some sort of legitimacy to Shazain Bhugtti, who is in all reality a puppet of the Pakistani establishment and nothing more or less. He does not command any respect in Balochistan nor is welcome in Dera Bugti and lives in Punjab, not in Balochistan. He is Punjabi, not Baloch. He has been installed in Dera Bugti for a mission. Remember, he has no legitimacy between the Bugti’s and the Baloch.

    Q: Tell us about the targeted killings of the Punjabis in Balochistan. Why did they deserve to take the hit for the crimes that according to you were committed by a certain lobby in Balochistan. Only recently, there had been killings of Punjabis at a bus stand.

    BB: There were no targeted killings in Dera Bugti. The Punjabis had lived there peacefully. They came from Punjab to solve their problems in Dera Bugti. You need to distinguish between the two, the ongoing insurgency that is the legitimate right of all Baloch. In Balochistan there are three kinds of killings: a) by Baloch terrorists b) By agencies c) Revenge attacks. It might be that the third group targets certain Punjabis, as thousands of Baloch had been killed extra-judicially. There is anger.

    Q: There have been reports in the media that you are leading an armed resistance and are responsible for the killings in Balochistan. Have you head of BRA or the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA)? Or both? Do you own these organisations, Baramdagh?

    BB: I would support anyone who is fighting for the right and honour of the Baloch. From Khuzdar to Dera Bugti to Quetta to Lasbela or even Lyari. The Balochis are neglected, dishonoured and treated as slaves. So, why would they not fight. If you kill my brother do you expect me to bow in front of you. No Baloch could do that. To your question, BLA and BRA are legitimate fighting forces in Balochistan, but to say that I am in command is absolutely incorrect. I am just a figurehead, a political face and nothing more or else. Do you think I have powers from where I am sitting to do anything, absolutely not. I cannot micromanage nor do I have access to communication. These are Balochis, for heaven’s sake, not Indians, Afghans or anyone else fighting for their rights. Understand that and respect us.

    Q: What rights, Baramdagh. Who gave you legitimacy. How could you claim that you are a political face when there is an elected government in Balochistan.

    BB: (Laughs) First, all Baloch nationalists had rightly boycotted the previous elections, so to say that the current set up was Baloch is just a farce. Yes, the current governor and chief minister are Baloch but the local politics is dominated by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), who cannot be Baloch, and even those who are Baloch are either helpless, blackmailed by agencies or are puppets. As for my legitimacy, I never claimed it, I inherited it, I command it. I left everything I had, all the luxuries to live in caves for my homeland. I am not afraid to die because I am a Baloch. That is my legitimacy.

    Q: Okay you now have legitimacy. Now what, kill everyone in Balochistan?

    BB: Let me assure you it is the other way around. It is the Baloch who are being killed. What do you expect them to do, wear bangles, No. We fight for our honour and we shall die for one.

    Q: What is the solution?

    BB: The solution is ‘respect’ and ‘honour’, and that could come from giving the Baloch the rights they deserve. A) There has to be an absolute withdrawal of the army, FC and other intelligence agencies B) Halt to this silent genocide of the Baloch C) Recovery of all missing persons in Balochistan D) Giving all resources back to us. If you have the remotest thought in your mind that from now onwards the Baloch would settle for full provincial autonomy even, we had been pushed beyond that.

    Q: Baramdagh, you are an Indian asset, are you not? With an Indian passport bent upon destroying integrity and unification of Pakistan.

    BB: (Laughs) What integrity? What unification? For the record, I am neither an Indian asset nor anyone else’s asset. I am only an asset of the in fact Balochistan is our only asset. I tell you to read the report by Amnesty International and other reports published by international organisations.

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