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Musharraf plotted Bugti murder: Sharif
Raj Kumar Atal for ANI

Paris, September 6
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday lashed out against the Musharraf regime, squarely accusing it of "murdering" senior Baluch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti on August 26.

Speaking in an exclusive interview to ANI, Mr Sharif, who was on a private visit here and staying in the same hotel as visiting Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, said the Shaukat Aziz Government backed by President Musharraf had hatched a conspiracy to remove Bugti from the political scene, as he was emerging as an icon for the over five-decade-old Baluch nationalist movement.

He further went on to tell ANI that the Pakistan Army was totally responsible for the killing of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in a military operation in the Bhambore Hills in Baluchistan's Kohlu area, and that opposition parties in Pakistan were absolutely right in condemning the incident and justified in asking the Musharraf regime for an explanation.

"They (Pakistan Government) murdered him (Bugti). Both the Government and the Pakistan Army hatched a conspiracy. Both are equally responsible for this reprehensible crime. Nawab Akbar Bugti was a respected politician, a respected Baluch leader, who kept the province peaceful in spite of all problems confronting him and the Baluch people.

His campaign and demand was for a better-developed Baluchistan and for protecting Baluch rights. It is a tragedy that he is no more. The Baluchis will suffer, but they will unite against the Musharraf regime," Sharif told ANI during the interview.

He also agreed with the view that the death of Nawab Bugti is now serving as a powerful rallying point for the Baloch movement for self-determination.

The anti-Islamabad sentiment in the province, he said was justified, as the average Baluch was fed up with the years and decades of neglect, notwithstanding that Baluchistan was Pakistan largest province and a land rich in natural resources, especially with huge reserves of gas, oil, coal, uranium, gold, copper and iron ore deposits.

The Kohlu operation, he said, clearly brought the shortsightedness of the Musharraf regime. It was only natural that this act should create a domino effect and lead to the resignations of various parties and their representatives from both the provincial and national assemblies, Sharif added.



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