KARACHI, Aug 28: Veteran politician Sherbaz Khan Mazari has refuted government claims about killing Nawab Akbar Bugti in a mountain cave and said that the tribal chieftain was actually killed following a bitter shoot-out in the open.

A press statement issued to Dawn by Mr Mazari says that the body of Nawab Bugti has been taken to Islamabad.

“The regime now claims that it is digging to find Nawab Bugti’s remains. This is widely believed to be a subterfuge as there is no body there to be found.”

Mr Mazari says: “My old friend Akbar Bugti was an 80-year-old man incapacitated by a muscle-wasting disease and unable to walk properly. How could the army have so confidently announced that they had killed him if he had been trapped and hidden within the depths of a cave at the time it collapsed?”

He says the government, faced with a tremendous public backlash, is now trying to take cover behind a disingenuous tale about a helicopter coming under fire and an ensuing battle which led to ‘the collapse of a 120-foot cave in which Nawab Bugti had been sheltering’.

“Obviously, the story about the cave is creative fiction,” he says.

According to Mr Mazari, the government had previously attempted to eliminate Nawab Bugti on two previous occasions: on March 17, 2005, when TOW missiles were deployed as Nawab Bugti sat in his ‘baithak’ in Dera Bugti, and in early July 2006 when SSG commandoes were dropped by helicopters to encircle his previous mountain redoubt.

“My message to Musharraf is this: General, you have finally managed to kill the man you wanted. Now, if you possess an honourable bone in your body, do the decent thing and hand the body of Nawab Bugti to his family members. The least my dear friend Akbar Bugti deserves is the dignity of a proper funeral and a final resting place in the land he loved enough to give his life for,” the statement concludes.

Opinion

Sub judice rule
18 Sep 2021

Sub judice rule

It is time this objection, sub judice, is laid to rest.
The Black Caps folly
Updated 18 Sep 2021

The Black Caps folly

There is so much wrong — and worrying — about the entire sorry episode of New Zealand backing out of Pakistan tour.
CT NAP revisited
Updated 18 Sep 2021

CT NAP revisited

A policy of appeasement towards extremists has undermined the state’s writ.
Pathways for reform
Updated 17 Sep 2021

Pathways for reform

Even now the government has said they are listening, but they have not said how they are listening.

Editorial

Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...
TTP amnesty?
Updated 17 Sep 2021

TTP amnesty?

An amnesty should be for some individuals, not the entire outfit.
17 Sep 2021

Media regulation

THE needless controversy over media regulation may finally be heading for a resolution. In a meeting with ...
17 Sep 2021

Refusing audit

THE continuous resistance put up by several public-sector organisations to submitting their accounts for audit by ...