Akbar Bugti

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Nawab Akbar Shahbaz Khan Bugti
13th Governor of Balochistan
In office
15 February 1973 – 3 January 1974
Preceded by Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo
Succeeded by Ahmad Yar Khan
5th Chief Minister of Balochistan
In office
4 February 1989 – 6 August 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
Personal details
Born (1927-07-12)12 July 1927
Barkhan, Barkhan District, Balochistan
Died 26 August 2006(2006-08-26) (aged 79)
Kohlu, Balochistan
Political party Jamhoori Watan Party
Spouse(s) Three Marriages: 1st Baloch, 2nd Pashtun & 3rd Persian
Residence Dera Bugti, Balochistan
Profession Tumandar of Bugti Tribe, politician
Religion Sunni Muslim

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

Bugti was involved in a struggle, at times armed, for greater autonomy for Balochistan. The government of Pakistan accused him of keeping private militia and leading a guerrilla war against the state. On 26 August 2006, Bugti, along with some personnel of Pakistan army, was killed when his hide-out cave, located in Kohlu, about 150 miles east of Quetta, collapsed in an explosion set off by a Pakistan Army commander.[2] His death lead to widespread unrest in the area and a surge in the nationalist sentiment in Balochistan.

Early life and family[edit]

Bugti, meeting with Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was born on 12 July 1927 in Barkhan (in present-day Balochistan), the rural home of the Khetran, a Baloch tribe, to which his mother belonged. He was the son of the chief of his tribe, Nawab Mehrab Khan Bugti and grandson of Sir Shahbaz Khan Bugti.[3] He received his early education from Aitchison College.[4][unreliable source?] Being the son of the tribe's chief, he became the tumandar (chief) of his tribe after his father. Sylvia Matheson states in her book, The Tigers of Balochistan, that Bugti told her that he killed for the first time at the age of twelve.[3] Upon her questioning further, he stated,

Well, the man annoyed me. I’ve forgotten what it was about now, but I shot him dead. I’ve rather a hasty temper you know, but under tribal law of course it wasn’t a capital offence, and, in any case, as the eldest son of the Chieftain I was perfectly entitled to do as I pleased in our own territory. We enjoy absolute sovereignty over our people and they accept this as part of their tradition.[5]

Balochistan conflict[edit]

Further information: Balochistan conflict

Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan, is abundant in natural resources but due to the lack of the will of federal government and corruption of local sardars the province includes one of the poorest areas in the country[citation needed]. This perceived injustice has led to the Baloch people calling for greater share in resources and more autonomy. Bugti was involved in these struggles, at times armed ones, in Balochistan in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

Increase in tensions in 2005[edit]

In 2005, Bugti and Mir Balach Marri (another tribal leader) presented a 15-point agenda to the Pakistan government. Their stated demands included greater control of the province's resources and a moratorium on the construction of military bases. In the mean time, attacks against Pakistan Army also increased in the area, including 2005 attack on a helicopter, in which the head of Pakistan's Frontier Corps and his deputy were injured.[6] The government blamed him for leading a series of attacks against its forces and installations, and the result was armed altercation between the military and Bugti and Marri tribes. Despite his age and failing health, Bugti, in the last seven months of his life, joined in the fighting alongside his tribesmen from the mountains of his home district, Dera Bugti.[7]


On 24 August 2006, fighting broke out in Kohlu district, Balochistan when a pair of army helicopters came under fire and one was hit but landed safely, according to the military spokesman. After another helicopter came under fire in the same area, the army moved in.[8]

On Saturday 26 August 2006, senior army officer leading the advance, set off a mine at the cave entrance, which triggered secondary explosions in the cave, where Bugti was in hiding, bringing down the entire structure[8] The collapse resulted in killing of Bugti, his grandson, 37 armed fighters and 12 soldiers of Pakistan Army.[9] Military sources originally said that Bugti died in a ground and air operation. Officials gave differing accounts of what happened afterwards, and denied that security forces meant to kill him.[10][11]


On 1 September 2006 Bugti was buried in Dera Bugti, with his coffin sealed, next to the graves of his son and brother. His family, who wanted a public funeral in Quetta, did not attend the burial.[12]

On 26 September 2010 Abdul Qayyum Khan Jatoi, a senior Pakistan federal minister criticized and accused the army of killing Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti as well as the Pakistani politician, Benazir Bhutto. He later resigned when his political party summoned him and asked him to explain his comments.[13]

Investigation and prosecution[edit]

On 11 July 2012, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court in Sibi, Balochistan issued arrest warrants for the former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf and several other high-ranking officials who were accused of involvement in the killing of Akbar Bugti.[14] The other officials included the former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, former Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Sherpao, former Governor of Balochistan Owais Ahmed Ghani, former Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Mohammad Yousaf, former Provincial Home Minister Shoaib Nosherwani and former Deputy Commissioner Abdul Samad Lasi. All these were named suspects in the F.I.R. registered by police regarding the killing of Bugti in the military operation.[14] Musharraf was formally arrested by a police team from Balochistan on 13 June 2013, however was later given bail due to his poor health conditions and ultimately due to non provision of evidence.[15]

See also[edit]


  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 0-7619-3313-1. 
  2. ^ "Tribal Leader's Killing Incites Riots", The New York Times, 28 August 2006.
  3. ^ a b "Turning a fight into a war". The Economist. 29 June 2006. 
  4. ^ Schmidle, Nicholas (1 April 2007). "Waiting for the prosperity: Baluchistan, 2006". Virginia Quarterly Review. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 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 false but appear regularly in stories about him. 
  5. ^ "The Tumandar of the Bugtis". DAWN. 3 September 2006. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Pakistan general hurt in attack", BBC News, 15 December 2005.
  7. ^ "Tribal Leader's Killing Incites Riots", The New York Times, 28 August 2006.
  8. ^ a b "Tribal Leader’s Killing Incites Riots in Pakistan". The New York Times. 28 August 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Baloch rebel leader killed". Rediff News. 27 August 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Lonely burial for Baloch leader". BBC News. 1 September 2006. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  11. ^ Sattar, Abdul (28 August 2006). "Killing of Pakistani tribal chief sparks fury and fears of war". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  12. ^ "Lonely burial for Baloch leader". BBC News. 1 September 2006. Archived from the original on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 1 September 2006. 
  13. ^ "Pakistan minister resigns after accusing army of killings". The Guardian (London). 26 September 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Pak court issues arrest warrant for Musharraf in Bugti case". The Times of India. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Musharraf formally arrested in Bugti murder case". Retrieved 13 June 2013. 


Further reading[edit]

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

External links[edit]

Video and audio[edit]

Preceded by
Nawab Shahbaz Khan Bugti
Nawab Mehrab Khan Bugti
Tumandar of Bugti Tribe Succeeded by
Nawab Brahamdagh Khan Bugti
Political offices
Preceded by
Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo
Governor of Balochistan
Succeeded by
Ahmad Yar Khan
Preceded by
Khuda Bux Marri
Chief Minister of Balochistan
Succeeded by
Mir Humayun Khan Marri