QUETTA - The Balochistan High Court (BHC) on Tuesday accepted the pre-arrest-bail plea submitted by former federal interior minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao in the Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti murder case against surety of Rs 1 million.
Former federal minister Aftab Sherpao appeared before a two-member bench comprising Justice Jamal Mandokhel and Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mengal who heard the Akbar Bugti murder case.
An anti-terrorism court had issued arrest warrants of Sherpao in Akbar Bugti’s murder case upon which he moved the Balochistan High Court for bail. During the proceedings, counsel for the former minister Professor Muhammad Umer Farooq Advocate, argued that his client had no knowledge about Bugti’s murder, infact he came to know about the operation through media reports. He said later he (Sherpao) recorded his statement to investigation officer, adding, his client did not have direct role in operation nor any approval for conducting operation was sought from him.
At this point, Sherpao told the court that he was named in the FIR as he was the member in the federal cabinet.
The court accepted his pre-arrest bail against surety of Rs 1 million and asked him appear before the court on next hearing on September 3.
Speaking to the media after hearing, Sherpao said he had no role in the military operation in Balochistan, adding, military operation was carried out at the behest of the provincial government.
He said there was room in constitution that if any province could not tackle law and order it could seek help from federal government and army.
He said he would submit his written statement to the court in Bugti’s murder case while he had already recorded his statement before the investigation officer.
Sherpao said he had great respect for the courts and would fully cooperate with Anti-Terrorism Court Sibi in Bugti murder case.
Referring to unrest in Balochistan, he said earnest efforts were needed for the solution of problems of provinces particularly for Balochistan province, adding, people had lost trust in federal government.
He said Bugti’s murder badly affected Balochistan due to which the situation was not under control so far.
Responding to a question, he dispelled the impression that military operation was launched without the consent of Balochitan government, saying it was conducted with the consent of provincial government and no extra-judicial measures were taken rather all steps were in accordance with the constitution.
It may be mentioned that the complainant in the case is Bugti’s elder son, Jamil Bugti, who named in the FIR then president General (r) Pervez Musharraf, then prime minister Shaukat Aziz, then Balochistan governor Owais Ghani, then interior minister Aftab Sherpao, then Balochistan chief minister Jam Yousuf and former provincial home minister Shoaib Nausherwani. Bugti was killed during a military operation on Aug 26, 2006.