PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Monday granted transit bail to former interior minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao in the murder case of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti.
A single-bench comprising Justice Shahjehan Khan Akhundzada allowed the transit bail until Aug 30 directing Mr Sherpao (petitioner) to approach the relevant court in Balochistan until them.
The ex-minister, also an MNA, was also told to furnish two surety bonds worth of Rs100,000 each.
Abdul Samad Khan, lawyer for Mr Sherpao, said a court in Balochistan had issued warrants for his client’s arrest and therefore, he should be given a transit bail so that he could appear before Balochistan court for pre-arrest bail.
Initially, the bench allowed 20 days time to the petitioner but later extended it after the lawyer said the next few days were very sensitive in Balochistan due to the death anniversary of Nawab Bugti on Aug 26.
The lawyer said there was a dispute between police of Kohlu and those of Dera Bugti over the place of the incident as they were not sure where exactly Nawab Bugti was killed. He added that the FIR was registered after a delay of three years.
Mr Abdul Samad said the petitioner was not aware that the trial had begun in the case and he came to know about the issuance of warrants for his client’s arrest by the trial court by newspaper reports only.
Mr Bugti was killed during a military operation on Aug 26, 2006.
The complainant in the FIR is Mr Bugti’s elder son, Jamil Bugti, who named in the FIR then president General (r) Pervez Musharraf, then prime minister Shaukat Aziz, then Balochistan governor Owais Ghani, then interior minister Aftab Sherpao, then Balochistan chief minister Jam Yousuf and then provincial home minister Shoaib Nausherwani.
Last month, an anti-terrorism court issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of the accused, including Mr Sherpao, and fixed the hearing for Aug 15.
Another accused in the case Jam Yousuf has already been granted interim pre-arrest bail last month by the Balochistan High Court for three weeks. His case will be heard afterwards.
Meanwhile, Mr Sherpao denied involvement in Mr Bugti’s killing, saying he had nothing to do with the incident.
Mr Sherpao attended the proceedings along with other party leaders, including former senator Aneesazaib Tahirkheli and MPA Sikander Sherpao.
He later told reporters that the interior ministry was not involved in the Balochistan operation as law and order was the domain of the provincial government.
He added that he had fully cooperated with the investigation agency and had submitted his statement in the case to the relevant court.
Mr Sherpao said as the matter was sub judice, he didn’t want to speak on it.