A Pakistani court on Wednesday directed police to register a case against former President Pervez Musharraf and several of his key aides in connection with the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti in a military operation in 2006.
A division bench of the Balochistan High Court had summoned Musharraf to appear before it for today’s hearing of a petition seeking his trial for Bugti’s murder but neither he nor his counsel was present at the proceedings.
The court directed police in Dera Bugti district to register a First Information Report and to conduct an investigation. The lawyer of Bugti’s son Jamil Akbar Bugti,who had filed the petition,said the FIR would be filed once the court’s formal order is received.
“This is just the beginning and the first step. We don’t have much confidence in the government and I think the investigation will not be thorough,” Jamil Bugti said.
Musharraf,who resigned as President in August last year,is currently in the US for a lecture tour. He has been living outside Pakistan since mid-April.
Besides Musharraf,Jamil Bugti had asked the High Court to direct police to register a case against former premier Shaukat Aziz,former Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao,former Balochistan Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani and several other persons in connection with the killing of his father.
The court had issued notices to Musharraf and his aides during a hearing on September 25. Jamil Bugti filed the petition in the High Court after a similar plea was dismissed by a sessions court.
Bugti was killed with 37 of his followers in a military operation in Dera Bugti on August 26,2006.
Musharraf had ordered the operation against Bugti,a former Chief Minister of Balochistan and leader of the Jamhoori Watan Party.
During today’s hearing,Sherpao’s counsel said the former Interior Minister had not been aware of the operation launched against Bugti. The operation was conducted at the behest of Musharraf and the interior ministry’s forces were not involved in it,the lawyer said.
The new case adds to Musharraf’s legal woes as police in Islamabad have already registered a case against him for illegally detaining over 60 judges during the 2007 emergency.
The Supreme Court has already declared the emergency imposed by Musharraf as unconstitutional and illegal. This has raised the possibility of his trial on charges of treason.