Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Cantonment being made in Sui, says Akbar Bugti

By Sarfaraz Ahmed

KARACHI: Nawab Akbar Bugti said on Saturday that despite Gen Pervez Musharraf’s close aide Tariq Aziz telling him that the government had delayed the plan to set up cantonments in Balochistan, work had begun on the construction of a cantonment in Sui.

He also reiterated his opposition to the government’s reported plans to set up three cantonments in Sui, Kohlu and Gwadar.

“They have started initial work by barbed wiring land they have selected to set up the cantonment on,” Nawab Bugti told Daily Times in an interview at his Dera Bugti residence.

Disputing the government’s contention that February’s army action was in response to an attack by Bugti tribesmen on security personnel and Sui gas installations, Nawab Bugti said he was the actual target and that the army had used heavy weapons including attack helicopters against them.

According to him, there was firing from seven points and that he was being fired upon from four of these points. “The army’s objective was to kill me, but I am alive,” he added.

He claimed that the army action against his tribesmen had so far claimed 34 lives with a tribeswoman dying of her wounds two days ago.

Supporting the Baloch Liberation Army and Baloch Liberation Front and the activities carried out be them, he said any Baloch who would not be supporting them would either be an ass or a traitor.

About his prolonged talks with Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Mushahid Hussain, he said they (the talks) had yielded no result. He also said the four-party Baloch nationalist alliance had rejected the parliamentary committee’s report “because there is no substance in it”.

He ruled out the possibility of resolving the Balochistan issue through the constitution, saying the 1973 Constitution had no legitimacy because three of the five members from Balochistan in parliament did not sign it.

He again accused the government of robbing Balochistan’s resources, which solely belonged to the Baloch.

He also denied charges levelled by Gen Musharraf in an interview to Daily Times that the Nawab was responsible for the plight of the Kalpars. Nawab Bugti said the government was using Kalpar tribesmen against him.

Comparing the Mukhtar Mai case and that of Dr Shazia Khalid, Nawab Bugti alleged that rape victim Dr Khalid did not get justice because she came from Sindh and the alleged rapist happened to be the “holiest of the holies”, a Punjabi and an army officer.

Full text of interview will be published in Daily Times HARDtalk column shortly.

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