QUETTA: Arrest warrants were issued on Friday for former Balochistan chief minister and sitting MNA Jam Mir Mohammad Yusuf, an accused nominated in the Nawab Akbar Bugti murder case. The warrant was issued by the Quetta judicial magistrate.
The crime branch tasked to investigate the murder of former governor and chief minister Nawab Bugti had submitted a formal request for Yusuf’s arrest warrants following his nomination in an FIR registered at the Dera Bugti Police Station. Judicial Magistrate-IV Faisal Hameed accepted on Friday the plea filed by the crime branch through the Balochistan home department.
Earlier, the judicial magistrate issued arrest warrants for former president Pervez Musharraf, then premier Shaukat Aziz and former home minister Shoaib Ahmed Nausherwani, a sitting MPA of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).
Nawab Bugti’s eldest son Nawabzada Jamil Bugti lodged an FIR against Musharraf, Aziz, Yusuf, former governor Awais Ahmed Ghani, then interior minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao and Nausherwani.
According to a senior official of the Balochistan home ministry, the arrest warrants have not yet been dispatched to the federal government for the extradition of the accused who are currently residing abroad. “We have convened a meeting right after Eidul Azha to discuss the issue. The warrants will then be sent to the interior ministry for their extradition,” said Home Secretary Naseebullah Bazai, adding that the crime branch and senior officials of law enforcing agencies will be attending the meeting.
Arrest warrants for Sherpao and Ghani, however, have not been issued so far since they had submitted their reply to the Balochistan High Court assuring that they will extend support during investigations.
Most of the accused, including Yusuf, said in their statements that they had no prior knowledge of the incident and had only learnt about it through the media and government officials.
However, Musharraf, during various interviews, conceded that Nawab Bugti allegedly challenged the writ of the law which was why a military action was taken against him and defended the action that led to Bugti’s killing.
Jamil Bugti’s lawyer said he would approach the federal government to contact countries, like the UAE, with whom Pakistan does not have an extradition treaty. “The government will be approached to send a formal request for extradition,” said Hadi Shakil, counsel for the petitioner.
Aziz and Yusuf have reportedly been residing in the UAE. Yusuf pays a visit to Islamabad off and on to attend meetings of the National Assembly and party sessions.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2011.