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Killing of Bugti a blow to national unity: Nur Khan

August 30, 2006

ISLAMABAD, Aug 29: Former Air Force chief Air Marshal Nur Khan has roundly condemned the ruling Muslim League leadership, specially its president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and its secretary-general Mushahid Hussain Syed, for continuing to serve the Gen Musharraf regime even after the murder of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti at the hands of a contingent of Army.

They claim to have been very good friends of the late Bugti. Shujaat never tires of expressing his indebtedness to the Nawab for saving his father’s life when Z.A.Bhutto, the then prime minister, had reportedly instructed Bugti, then governor of Balochistan to have his father Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi who was then in the provincial jail, killed. And look at Mushahid. He was among the three whom Bugti had named for hearing his case and had promised to accept whatever their verdict. Is this how one pays back trusted friends? asked Nur Khan.

The two seem to be running with the hare and hunting with the hound, he added bitterly.

Nur Khan said, it was the PML which is providing the military junta the all important political life support, without which, Gen Musharraf would not last single day.

“But without Gen Musharraf the PML will not last a single minute and that perhaps is why it feels compelled to go along with the military dictator no matter what the moral and political price”, he added.

Nur Khan, who as the governor of the defunct West Pakistan, had negotiated with the estranged Baloch Sardars, including Akbar Khan Bugti, in the late 1960s and brought them back into the mainstream politics, said he had found all these Sardars to be highly patriotic and devoted to Pakistan.

“I would trust them more than I would trust any other Pakistani to die for Pakistan”, he said.

They were alienated because of the way the Centre was treating them and their people. Because of the continuous neglect a sense of deprivation had taken hold of them. They needed to be given a sense of belonging.

“They were all men of honour. So, it was not all that difficult for me then to negotiate with them and get them back into the mainstream”, he added.

He said Bugti’s death would add a new and perhaps even a violent urgency to the demands of provincial autonomy by the smaller provinces and the Centre would ultimately be forced to concede to the very demands for which Bugti and his clan had taken up arms against the Musharraf regime.

Referring to Musharraf’s warning that whoever wanted to harm Pakistan nationally or internationally would have to fight him first, Nur Khan advised the president “to have a look in the mirror”. He would find that he himself is the guilty party.

He said Bugti’s murder had dealt a severe blow to the unity of the country.