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Nawab Akbar Shahbaz Khan Bugti
نواب اکبر شھباز خان بگٹی

In office
February 15, 1973 – January 3, 1974
Preceded by Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo
Succeeded by Ahmad Yar Khan

In office
February 4, 1989 – August 6, 1990
Preceded by Jam Ghulam Qadir Khan
Succeeded by Taj Muhammad Jamali

19th Tumandar of the Bugti Tribe
Preceded by Nawab Mehrab Khan Bugti
Succeeded by Nawab Brahamdagh Khan Bugti

Born Barkhan, Barkhan District, Balochistan
Died Kohlu, Balochistan, Pakistan
Political party Jamhoori Watan Party
Residence Dera Bugti, Balochistan
Profession Tumandar of Bugti Tribe, Politician
Religion Sunni Muslim

Nawab Akbar Shahbaz Khan Bugti (Urdu: نواب اکبر شہاز خان بگٹی) (July 12, 1927–August 26, 2006) was the Tumandar (head) of the Bugti tribe of Baloch and served as Minister of State for Interior and Governor of Balochistan Province in Pakistan.[1].

After an armed struggle started in Balochistan in 2004, Bugti was widely perceived as a leader but went underground in 2005. On August 26, 2006, after several attempts were made on his life in the preceding months,[2] he was killed in his cave in Kohlu, about 150 miles east of Quetta, leading to widespread unrest in the area, where he is widely regarded as a hero and martyr.[3]


Early life

Bugti, meeting with Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Akbar Bugti was the son of Nawab Mehrab Khan Bugti and a grandson of Sir Shahbaz Khan Bugti. He was born in Barkhan the rural home of the rustic Khetran a ( Marri-Bugti ) Baloch tribe to which his mother belonged and now an upgraded district of Balochistan, on July 12, 1927. He received his early education from Allama I.I. Kazi and claimed to be educated at Oxford University.[4]

In politics

Nawab Akbar Bugti was elected in a by-election to the National Assembly of Pakistan in May 1958 to fill the vacancy created as a result of the assassination of the incumbent, Dr Khan Sahib, and sat on the government bench as a member of the ruling coalition. Bugti (Republican) served as Minister of State (Interior) in the government of Prime Minister Malik Sir Feroz Khan Noon (Republican) from September 20, 1958, to October 7, 1958, when the cabinet was dismissed on the declaration of Martial Law by President Iskander Mirza.

He was arrested and convicted by a Military Tribunal in 1960 and subsequently qualify from holding public office. As a result of his legal battles, he did not contest the 1970 general elections. Instead, he campaigned on behalf of his younger brother, Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Bugti, a candidate of the National Awami Party.

However, Bugti developed differences with the NAP leadership, especially the new Balochistan Governor, Ghaus Baksh Bizenjo. He informed the Federal Government and President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Pakistan Peoples Party) of the alleged London Plan, which resulted in the dismissal of the provincial governor as well as the Chief Minister Sardar Ataullah Khan Mengal and his cabinet on February 14, 1973. The next day, the Federal Government appointed Bugti as the Governor of Balochistan, and the Pakistan Army was deployed in the province as part of a crackdown on the National Awami Party.

He resigned on January 1, 1974, after disagreeing with the manner in which the Federal Government was carrying out policies in Balochistan. The army had deployed 100,000 men in Balochistan and with the help of the Iranian airforce killed large numbers of Balochis. Muhammad Raza Shah Pahlavi, the King of Iran, sent F-14 fighter jets and AH-1 gunships along with his pilots, to help Pakistan Army combat the insurgency. The Pakistani army is alleged to have killed more than 4000 Balochi, mostly Marri insurgents, in these operations. Akbar Bugti is said to have supported the military action.

There was a lull in his activities when General Rahimuddin Khan was appointed Governor of Balochistan in 1978. Bugti remained silent throughout the course of Rahimuddin's rule, which was often characterized by hostility towards the Baloch Sardars.

In 1988, he joined the Balochistan National Alliance and was elected Chief Minister on February 4, 1989. His government frequently disagreed with the Federal Government led by the Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan Peoples Party).

Bugti resigned on August 6, 1990, when the provincial assembly was dissolved by Governor of Balochistan General Muhammad Musa Khan in accordance with the instructions of President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, who was exercising his authority by virtue of Article 58 (2 b) of the Constitution of Pakistan. For the 1990 General Elections, Bugti formed his own political party, the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP), being Balochistan's single largest party and was elected to the provincial assembly.

In 1993, he was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan, representing the JWP in parliament. Also, in 1993, Nawab Bugti announced his candidacy to be President of Pakistan but later withdrew his candidacy and announced his support of the eventual winner, Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari. In 1997, Nawab Bugti was re-elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan, representing the JWP.

Balochistan conflict

Bugti was involved in struggles, at times armed ones, in Balochistan in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. He led the current movement in Balochistan for greater autonomy. He was the public face and provided political support for the movement while his grandson, Brahamdagh Khan Bugti, led the Bugti tribesmen.[5]

In recent years, he was accused by the Pakistani government of being a warlord and running a well-organized militia, sometimes thought to be the shadowy Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) with members numbering in the thousands. The BLA allegedly ran dozens of militant guerrilla training camps. While campaigning from the mountain ranges of Dera Bugti, he was, according to the Pakistani government, directing a “Omar Mukhtar, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara” style guerrilla war. In July 2006, Pakistani president General Musharraf targeted him through aerial bombing, using air force jets and gunship helicopters. The leader of Balochistan National Party, Sardar Akhtar Mengal said, "The increase in bomb attacks in the Bugti and Marri areas are meant to target Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and his associates" and called upon the international community to take note of the situation.[6]


On Saturday August 26, 2006, around 2230 hrs (PST), Bugti was killed when a shell exploded in the cave in which he was hiding. The Pakistani government says that he killed himself along with senior security officials by firing a shell when he was cornered by the Pakistani officials who had come unarmed to arrest him, resulting in the collapse of the cave.[5] Five Pakistani troops also died.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf termed his death a victory for Pakistanis and congratulated the secret service chief who carried out this operation.[citation needed] Pakistan's Information Minister Mohammad Ali Durrani, confirmed that the operation included both air and ground assault. In a short telephone interview, made to a private television network, the Pakistani Information Minister said that Bugti's death occurred as the cave he was in collapsed.[citation needed]

In a recent article the Pakistani Journalist Hamid Mir said that the last time that he talked to Nawab Bugti, he was in the mountains and had called Mir from his satellite phone. In this last conversation with Hamid Mir, Nawab Bugti told him "Read Mir Gul Khan Nasir's book on the history of Balochistan. The Baloch have always resisted unconstitutional measures.I'm not a traitor, the people who go against the Article 6 and take control of Pakistan are the real traitors. I, like Mir Gul Khan Nasir, only put forward the demand for Balochistan's rights. But in General Musharraf's view this is a crime punishable by death. (Bugti Laughs then continues) Your commando general will rest only after he martyrs me but after my martyrdom he will be held responsible. So now it's up to you people to either choose Musharraf or Pakistan. The choice is yours."[7][8]


Funeral and rioting

Bugti's death was followed by rioting by hundreds of students from the state-run Balochistan university.[9] As the news flashed across television screens in Pakistan, the government deployed Rangers and paramilitary forces across major cities to prevent a backlash and impose a curfew in the provincial capital, Quetta.[9] Security arrangements for the Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf have been beefed up to the highest level, and his movement has since been very restricted, fearing a retaliatory attack. Security arrangements have been further enhanced in and around all airports of Pakistan. The media both in Pakistan and outside have severely condemend the killing as the "[m]ilitary’s second biggest blunder after Bhutto’s execution" and calling it a "political nightmare".[10] Others have likened it to the East Bengal crisis of 1971 where military violence eventually led to the Bangladesh Liberation War.[11]

On August 27, 2006, some private media broadcast news that Bugti's grandsons, Brahamdagh and Mir Ali, are still alive, but no official confirmation has been made.[citation needed]

On September 1, 2006 Bugti was buried in Dera Bugti with three locks on his coffin, next to the graves of his son and brother. His family, who wanted a public funeral in Quetta, did not attend the burial, they protested against his body being locked in the coffin .[12]

See also

Further reading

  • Matheson, Sylvia A. The Tigers of Balochistan. London: Arthure Barker Limited (1967). Reprint: Oxford University Press, Karachi (1998), ISBN 0-19-577763-8.


  1. ^ Banerjee, Paula; Chaudhury, Sabyasachi Basu Ray; Das, Samir Kumar; Adhikari, Bishnu (2005). Internal Displacement in South Asia: The Relevance of the UN's Guiding Principles. SAGE. ISBN 0761933131. 
  2. ^ "Balochistan Freedom Fighters smashed Pakistan" - Hindu Baloch, July 7, 2006
  3. ^
  4. ^ Schmidle, Nicholas (2007-04-01). "Waiting for the prosperaty: Baluchistan, 2006". Virginia Quarterly Review. "He got a kick out of peddling myths to wide-eyed foreign correspondents—such as the one that he went to Oxford or that he killed his first man at age eleven, both of which are true but appear regularly in stories about him." 
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ "Baloch air strikes aimed at nationalist leaders: Mengal" - The Hindu, July 10, 2006
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b "Unrest after Pakistan rebel death" - BBC News, August 27, 2006
  10. ^ "Media slams killing of Nawab Bugti" - Press Trust Of India, The Indian Express, August 29, 2006
  11. ^ "India, Baloch put Mush under pressure" - by Parul Malhotra, CNN IBN, August 28, 2006
  12. ^ "Lonely burial for Baloch leader". BBC News. 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2006-09-01. 


External links


Video clips

  • CNN Video Clip CNN Video Report on the Bugti tribe 2001
  • BBC Reporters BBC Video Report on Dera Bugti, Balochistan situation 2005
  • BBC Reporters BBC Video Report on Dera Bugti, Balochistan situation 2006
  • [1] In Urdu
  • [2] Nawab Bugti come for tribal jirga halt between Marri and Bugti tribes
  • [3] In Sindhi, Nawab Bugti's Profile
  • [4] An interview with Brahamdagh Bugti starting orcehstrated separatist movement against Pakistan

Audio clips

  • 13.01.05 BBC Urdu Interview Nawab Bugti
  • 27.01.05 Voice Of America English Interview Nawab Bugti
  • 17.03.05 BBC Urdu Interview Nawab Bugti
  • 10.04.05 BBC Urdu Interview Nawab Bugti
  • 15.05.05 BBC Urdu Interview Nawab Bugti
  • 18.12.05 BBC Urdu Interview Nawab Bugti
  • 19.12.05 Voice Of Germany Urdu Interview Nawab Bugti
  • 25.12.05 BBC Urdu Interview Nawab Bugti
  • 14.02.06 BBC Urdu Interview Nawab Bugti
  • 11.05.06 BBC Urdu Interview Nawab Bugti
  • 14.06.06 BBC Urdu Interview Nawab Bugti
  • 07.07.2006 Interview of Nawab Bugti explaining how on 3 July 2006, his tribesmen foiled the Pakistani governments attempts to assassinate him for the third time using 3 fighter jets, 19 gunship helicopters which landed dozens of para-troopers and commandos (This particular clip has been blocked in Pakistan and can only be heard in countries other than Pakistan)
  • 09.07.06 Voice Of America Urdu Interview Nawab Bugti
  • General Musharraf talks to The Washington Post about his view of the rape vitims
Political offices
Preceded by
Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo
Governor of Balochistan
1973 – 1974
Succeeded by
Ahmad Yar Khan
Preceded by
Khuda Bux Marri
Chief Minister of Balochistan
1989 – 1990
Succeeded by
Mir Humayun Khan Marri


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