It can only happen in the Land of the Pure; the Islamic Republic of Bananaistan. The very day it is reported in the national press that a former chief minister of Balochistan appeared in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and demanded the disbandment of the MI/ISI ‘death squads’, it is also reported that Zaid Hamid, the laal topi wallah, who is impendingly going to mount his white charger and gallop off to conquer Delhi’s Red Fort, has ‘hired’ Raja Irshad, the ISI/MI/Pak Army’s favourite lawyer.
Zaid Hamid’s plea is that the SC should form a commission to probe the fact that Nawab Akbar Bugti committed suicide and murdered five army officers too, and was not killed by the army. We are also told that the petition was submitted in the SC a full week before the news was curiously published on the day that it was. Let us also quickly note that Nawab Akbar Bugti, himself a former interior minister of Pakistan and chief minister and governor of Balochistan, was killed on August 26, 2006, almost exactly five years and one month before Zaid Hamid suddenly realised that the Nawab had committed suicide and also murder. In the petition’s words: “In reality he had committed a rebellion, waged a war against the state and his own tribe and when cornered, he committed suicide while also murdered (sic) five army personnel, but these facts have never been reported by the media, never taken up by the courts and the separatists are fully exploiting lies, deceptions and propaganda in the environment (sic) to wage a war (sic) against the state of Pakistan, against the army and against the former members of the government in dangerous times.”
May I remind Zaid Hamid and friends, of reports in the press that Nawab Bugti was killed. Here is just one, published on November 10, 2010 in The News: “In the case of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti’s killing, the source said, General (retd) Pervez Musharraf involved the then-Military Intelligence chief Major General Nadeem Ejaz and the top command of 12 Corps”. There are other reports detailing how he was killed, which constraints of space do not allow me to repeat here but let me turn this accusation on its head: what if the Nawab did indeed press the button bringing the cave down onto himself, his personal bodyguard made up of several hundred Bugti fighters and the army officers? Hadn’t this octogenarian, who could hardly walk, been chased into his cave complex by Musharraf’s army? Was he not surrounded completely at the fag end of his life with no rations getting through to him? Far more critically, did Musharraf not say in his brash bully-boy manner that ‘they won’t know what hit them (Bugti)’?
Indeed, it was reported at the time that “Security officials said forces on Friday launched air strikes against a cave complex in the mountains on the border of Dera Bugti and Kohlu districts where the chieftain was hiding”. Musharraf’s then-information minister, now champion democrat, Mohammad Ali Durrani, also said at the time that his death was the result of a ground-cum-air assault. Musharraf himself termed Bugti’s death a ‘victory’ for Pakistanis. What sort of victory was it when the Nawab himself triggered the explosives and killed five SSG officers too? Aren’t they ashamed of rewriting such recent history?
Indeed, the petition uses these words for Nawab Bugti: “… and when cornered …’. Cornered? Cornered? Is this the language that the Deep State’s adjuncts use for political leaders of this country; for a former interior minister, a governor and a chief minister; a Baloch Sardar who believed in Pakistan? Shame on them. And the pauper’s funeral they gave him, his body packed into a rude, locked box, none of his close family there to pay their last respects? Shame on them.
And the denouement: a day after Akhtar Mengal’s explosive statement in the SC and the SC’s harsh admonishment to the ‘death squads’, the pathetic federal and Balochistan governments have gone scurrying into the arms of the Deep State denying there are any death squads at all! So, who is kidnapping and torturing and killing Baloch, Hazara and Settlers?
Djinns in green? Bugs Bunny? Why, Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo actually said on live TV so many years ago that they even knew the number plates of the double-cabins that belonged to the MI and which carried the thugs who kidnap. Shame on all of us!
Finally, kudos to Nawaz Sharif who has proved he is a statesman by meeting with and empathising with Sardar Mengal.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2012.