There is a traditional myth that Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was killed by a military dictator General Musharraf although he was fighting for the rights of Balochistan. Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was a tribal Chief and leader of the Baloch nationalist Jamhoori Watan Party. Moreover, he was the ex-Governor of the province of Balochistan as well. He was killed by the Law Enforcement Agencies in his mountain hideout of Kohlu District of Balochistan. The reasoning for his killing became the major cause of more intense radicalism which followed vandalism in Balochistan.

Bugti, who had led his tribal followers into a confrontation with Pakistan’s security forces was forced to leave his home in Dera Bugti following an escalation of hostilities in which his house was attacked by rockets. His death was followed by massive anti-government protests in Pakistan and media coverage worldwide. The area of his tribal influence includes the gas-rich Sui region of Balochistan, which provides gas in major areas of Pakistan.

There are two narratives among Baloch people on the issue of the killing of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. Those who are followers of the Bugti posed the scenario that he was fighting for the cause of the Baloch, whereas those who believe in Musharraf’s narrative on Balochistan would shed no tears for Akbar Bugti. They are of the view that challenging the writ of the State is a heinous crime. Apart from that no matter what, either he was fighting for a cause of the Baloch people or he was having a tussle with the establishment, the supporters of the Baloch cause will always uphold Akbar Bugti as a martyr.

Maintaining a balance between Balochistan and the Government of General Pervez Musharraf, the situation could have resolved through dialogues. Apart from that Musharraf added fuel to the fire when he declared ‘Don’t push us. It isn’t the 1970s when you can hit and run and hide in the mountains. This time you won’t even know what hit you.’ The comment followed a strong reaction from Baloch leaders. Turning the tables, if Nawab Akbar Bugti was fighting for the Baloch people’s rights, attaining the insurgents against the Government did not justify his acts. Political dialogues and insurgency never worked side by side. Bugti had led an armed campaign to press for provincial autonomy and a greater share of profits from Balochistan’s natural resources.

The killing of Akbar Bugti had infused a sense of urgency into the ‘Baloch cause’. The State’s responses led to further escalation with dire consequences. The middle grounds were not found from both sides. The current Provincial Government in this regard is on the right track because military action is not the solution to everything. Maintaining the balance is the need of time, rehabilitation process is at the peak in Balochistan because the Government is now resolving the issues specific to Balochistan. Mega projects have been started in Balochistan. Maturity in Government actions have been becoming strong day by day.


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