The Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside a Balochistan High Court (BHC) order and cancelled a bail granted to a grandson of the slain Baloch chieftain Nawab Akbar Bugti and his 27 security guards.
Shahzain Bugti – who is also the provincial chief of Jamhoori Wattan Party (JWP) – and his 27 armed guards were arrested on December 22, 2010 by paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) at the Buleli check post in Quetta for allegedly smuggling weapons.
Sources say a huge cache of weapons and ammunition, including 50 Kalashnikov assault rifles, anti-aircraft guns and 46,000 rounds, was recovered from the vehicles they were travelling in.
Later a BHC bench granted their applications for bail and ordered their release.
On Tuesday, an apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, took up the case and heard arguments from the prosecutor general and Shahzain’s attorney.
The bench set aside the BHC order paving way for the arrest of Shahzain and his guards. However, the bench did not make direct instructions for the arrest.
WN Kohli, the attorney for Shahzain, argued that his client was implicated in a fake case in order to bar him from leading a long march from Quetta to Dera Bugti for the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) belonging to the Bugti tribe.
In a counter argument, Prosecutor General Muhammad Wasey Tareen said that the security forces had intercepted Shahzain’s convoy after they were tipped off that the convoy was smuggling arms and ammunitions from Afghanistan to Quetta.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2012.