Govt ready to pardon martyred soldiers’ blood if Brahamdagh reconciles - Pakistan Today

Govt ready to pardon martyred soldiers’ blood if Brahamdagh reconciles

  • Baloch leader will have to answer for tribesmen or civilians killed by his associates or offer blood money to the victims’ families

    After Dr Malik Baloch, Sanaullah Zehri to pick up thread of dialogue with Baloch nationalist leaders

The Balochistan government has offered to pardon separatist leader of the outlawed Baloch Republican Party (BRP), Brahamdagh Bugti the blood of martyred soldiers and other security officials in case of reconciliation and his return to the country.

However, Bugti would have to answer for those tribesmen or civilians killed by his associates in violation of all legal or tribal norms.

“Pakistan has conveyed to Brahamdagh Bugti to renounce terrorism and return to the country. In case Bugti accepts the peace deal and returns home, we are ready to forgive the blood of our martyred soldiers. However, Bugti would have to deal with those civilians or tribesmen who have been martyred by the death squads he had raised in the name of vengeance. Only a tribal jirga, and not the government, can decide such killings. Diyat payment (blood money) can be a possible answer to such issues,” well-placed sources privy to the details of the meetings that took place between former Balochistan chief minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch and Brahamdagh Bugti told Pakistan Today on Saturday.

The sources, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said that the talks had made a significant headway but Baloch had to resign under the Murree Accord, making way for Nawab Sanaullah Zehri to take the post of Balochistan chief minister.

Asked whether or not the new chief minister would advance the peace process, the official said, “Yes, of course. Since this peace process has nod from the prime minister and the army leadership, Zehri would pick up the threads from where Dr Baloch left.”

Asked about the number of meetings between Dr Baloch and Bugti, the official said that two meetings were to his knowledge, but he believed three meetings had taken place in Geneva.

About the infighting between Rahija, Kalpar and Massori tribes, the official said that the State would only act once the matter was out of control.

“These matters have to be decided within the tribe(s) through jirgas. The State would only move in if any law is violated,” said the official, adding that political isolation and lack of support on ground had brought the young Bugti to the talks table.

“You know that Shahzain Bugti and Gohram, grandsons of Nawab Akbar Bugti, are now receiving millions of rupees in royalties from the Sui gas and oil fields in and around Dera Bugti. But Brahamdagh Bugti is running out of finances as the cost of living in Europe is very high. Despite receiving funding from anti-Pakistan elements, he would be anxious to come back and claim his share in the royalties. Besides, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has made Balochistan more lucrative place for him,” added the source.

About the Pur Amn Balochistan programme, the official said that since the launch of this programme, around 636 second-tier commanders/insurgents had surrendered.

“The surrendering militants have also been paid the first installment of the financial assistance and soon the second tranche would be released. The security forces have dealt with those adamant to lay arms. Youth have also refused to join the insurgency now. So, the insurgents are feeling isolated.”

When asked whether or not the State was ready to help the Bugtis claim the title of Nawab of Bugti tribes, the official said that Pakistan’s top legislature had passed a piece of legislation in 1976 to abolish the nawab/sardari system.

“Under the law, there is no provision about any nawab or sardar. Hence, the State can’t help it. However, this matter can be taken up by a grand jirga,” said the official, adding that even under the tribal norms, the son of the elder son was passed on the title of nawab, so Mir Aali Bugti, son of Akbar Bugti’s elder son Mir Salim Bugti might be chosen as nawab.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]

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