Karachi: Pakistani authorities on Friday issued an arrest warrant against Balochistan`s leading separatist leader Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti, the grandson of slain Baloch nationalist Akbar Bugti, in connection with a 2010 case of weapons smuggling.
Non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against Bugti and 26 of his accomplices after the Supreme Court cancelled a bail granted to them by a lower court.
Shahzain Bugti, who is also the Provincial President of the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) and his accomplices were arrested by the paramilitary Frontier Corps on December 22, 2010 at a checkpost in Quetta for allegedly smuggling weapons into the troubled province.
A huge cache of weapons and ammunition, including 50 Kalashnikov assault rifles, anti-aircraft guns and 46,000 rounds, was recovered from the vehicles they were travelling in.
Shahzain and his accomplices had approached the Balochistan High Court which had granted them bail. However, the bail was cancelled by the Supreme Court Treasury Bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.
Following the apex court`s ruling, the Additional Session Judge V Quetta, Sayed Zulfiqar Naqvi, issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the 27 people today.
The Balochistan province has been rocked by incessant violence since the killing of Akbar Bugti in 2005 raid during the then president Pervez Musharraf`s regime.
In recent months, several Shia Muslims of the Hazara caste have been killed in sectarian violence.