Islamabad: A top Baloch nationalist leader
and about 40 of his supporters were arrested in the restive
Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan today after a large
cache of arms was allegedly found hidden in his motorcade.
Jamhoori Watan Party leader Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti was
held at Buleli check post by the Frontier Corps while he was
returning from Chaman, a town on the border with Afghanistan,
Security personnel stopped Bugti`s 12-vehicle motorcade
for checking at the post. He was arrested with his supporters
when weapons were allegedly found in some of the vehicles.
Footage on television showed Bugti being bundled into a
car by security personnel and driven away.
Officials claimed they had found 43 Kalashnikovs, two
14.5mm anti-aircraft guns, two grenades launchers, small
machine guns and 50,000 rounds of ammunition of different
calibres in the motorcade.
They also claimed the vehicles in the motorcade were not
Bugti, the grandson of Baloch leader Nawab Mohammed Akbar
Khan Bugti who was killed in a military operation in 2006,
alleged that he had been framed by the security forces.
"There was no arms cache in the vehicles and there were
only some weapons carried by my guards," he told the media.
He said he would take up the issue of his harassment with
countries like the US.
Maj Gen Obaidullah Khan of the Frontier Corps said Bugti
and his followers had no permission to carry the weapons.
Bugti tried to escape from the check post but was
captured by security forces and taken to a camp, he said.
Balochistan police chief Malik Muhammad Iqbal said a
joint probe would be conducted into the incident by police,
Frontier Corps and intelligence agencies, including the ISI
and Military Intelligence.
Bugti had earlier announced that he would lead a march
from Kashmore in Sindh to Dera Bugti in Balochistan next month
to press authorities to facilitate the return of displaced
members of the Bugti tribe.
He had alleged that over 100,000 people of the Bugti
tribe had migrated to Nasirabad and Jaffarabad districts
during the military operation that resulted in the killing of
Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in 2006.