KARACHI, Nov 22: Veteran Baloch leader Nawab Khair Bux Marri said on Thursday he did not believe that his youngest son Balach had been killed in Afghanistan and he was not accepting condolences, saying he would do so only if the body of Balach was handed over to him.

Mr Marri did not accept condolences offered by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who had called on him. It was possibly Ms Bhutto’s first meeting with Mr Marri.

“Don’t condole with me, don’t offer fateha because it is offered for the dead people, and I believe Balach is alive,” Mr Marri said.

“I won’t mind accepting condolences from friends, relatives and all those who have respect for me and my family if the death of Balach is confirmed and my heart accepts that,” Mr Marri told people who had gathered at his relative’s house in the Defence Housing Authority.

Mr Marri said he was trying on his own to find out facts; there were a lot of things to be proved. The primary proof will be the body of Balach.

“Let me see his body and then perhaps I would accept that he has departed for good,” he said.

He said that Nato forces, the Pakistani authorities and late Akbar Bugti’s grandson Brahmdagh were all being accused of having killed Balach, but he had no proof and evidence to believe these reports.

“Brahmdagh cannot be involved in the killing because Balach was like an eye for Brahmdagh and no one could damage one’s eyes,” he said.

“If he (Balach) resisted for the rights of his land, he committed no sin. If he is dead he would be a torch-bearer for many others to follow the same path,” Mr Marri said.

“Our resistance should continue. My son might have committed some mistakes but he was on the right path,” Ghulam Qadir Marri, a spokesman for Nawab Marri, quoted him as saying.

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