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Akbar Bugti: Remembering the Balochistan Hero on his 11th Martyrdom Anniversary

With age being no factor, the Nawab fought for Balochistan till his dying breath

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Martyrdom Anniversary
Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti died fighting for Baloch freedom. Facebook
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  • Akbar Bugti was the governor and CM of Balochistan
  • The Martyr bravely died in his fight to liberate Balochistan from oppressive Pakistani forces
  • He was martyred on 26 August 2006 in a battle against Pakistani military

August 26, 2017: Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti is a name that can never be erased from Balochistan history. The Baloch hero sacrificed a prosperous and luxurious life for the people of Balochistan.

When the people of Balochistan were in dire need of help, Nawab Akbar Bugti stood up for them. With age being no factor, the Nawab fought for Balochistan till his dying breath.

Here are 15 things you need to know about the Baloch hero, Akbar Bugti:

1. Born in Barkhan, Balochistan on 12th July 1927, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti went on to attend the Oxford University in London. At just 13 years of age, Akbar Bugti was declared the chief of his tribe after his father’s death in 1939.

2. Bugti favored the separation of Pakistan from India, but while he was a Pakistani nationalist, he was a stronger Baloch nationalist. In 1947, he also advocated the accession of Balochistan from Pakistan.

3. He was appointed as Interior Minister of the State in 1958, thus starting his political career.

4. From the beginning till mid-1960’s, Akbar Bugti was imprisoned for supporting a National Awami Candidate and helping him defeat Field Marshal Ayub Khan. This had left Ayub Khan embarrassed who ordered for Bugti’s imprisonment. He was finally let go after a long hunger strike.

Also Read: Seminar in Washington to Pay Tributes to Former Balochistan Governor and Chief Minister Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti

5. He was appointed the governor of Balochistan by the Federal Government in the early 1970s but resigned after Pakistan Military began massive oppression of Baloch people.

6. Akbar Bugti became the Chief Minister of Balochistan National Alliance in 1988 but resigned when Gen. Muhammad Musa Khan dissolved the provincial assembly.

Martyrdom Anniversary
Akbar Bugti in Dera Bugti. Twitter

7. Bugti, several years later, formed his political party called Jamhoori Watan Party. The party became rapidly popular among the people of Balochistan. In 1997, he was re-elected to National Assembly.

8. After the 2005 rape incident involving a young Sindhi girl and a Pakistani officer, Bugti demanded justice, but it yielded no results. Parvez Musharraf refused to speed up the trial of accused officer.

9. As heated remarks came from both sides, Musharraf launched a military attack on Bugti and his forces. The fighting continued for months with troops dying from both sides.

10. Pakistani forces on 26th August 2006 carried out the encounter of Bugti and 23 of his troops. Musharraf was quoted in December 2005 saying, “There are two or three tribal chiefs and feudal lords behind whats going on in Balochistan. My government is determined to establish its writ. It will be a fight to the finish.”

11. During the battle between Bugti’s forces and Pakistan Military, Bugti’s base of operations Dera Bugti was heavily bombarded. As a result of this offense, 1,60,000 people were displaced from the region.

12. While Musharraf hoped that Bugti’s death would suppress demands for a separate Baloch, more fuel was added to the fire that was once ignited by Akbar Bugti. Separatist movements sparked higher.

13. Musharraf always maintained that the goal was to capture Bugti alive. Some stories also say that Bugti killed himself when the Pakistani military cornered him.

14. Gen. Parvez Musharraf was acquitted of the charges against him for the murder of Akbar Bugti in January 2016.

15. One of Bugti’s quotes that define his life came in a telephonic interview with TIME in the year 2016, “It is better to die-as the Americans say-with your spurs on. Instead of a slow death in bed, I’d rather death come to me while I am fighting for a purpose.” Bugti died at 79 years of age.

Baloch people will never forget the contributions and acts of bravery exhibited by Akbar Bugti. His courage continues to inspire the very youth that seeks the same purpose: Separation from Oppressive Pakistan. 


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Taliban And The U.S. Set To Meet in UAE

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan 17 years ago and the war with the Taliban has since killed nearly 150,000 people, including Afghan civilians

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USA, afghanistan, taliban
U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, talks with local reporters at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 18, 2018. VOA

A Pakistan-arranged meeting between U.S. and Taliban officials will be held Monday in the United Arab Emirates to push a political settlement to the war in Afghanistan.

The special representative for Afghan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, will lead the U.S. team at the talks in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the gulf state, a senior Pakistani official privy to the development confirmed to VOA on Sunday.

The official, requesting anonymity, said Islamabad has facilitated the dialogue after President Donald Trump wrote to Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this month seeking his cooperation in bringing the Taliban to the table for peace negotiations.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, in a brief statement sent to VOA, has confirmed participation of its political negotiators in Monday’s meeting with American officials, but said that representatives of the host country, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia will also be in attendance.

Imran Khan, Taliban
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Nov. 21, 2018. VOA

Initially, it was Khan who disclosed on Friday that Pakistan-aided talks between U.S. and Taliban officials would take place on December 17, though he would not say where.

The Pakistani prime minister, while speaking in the northwestern city of Peshawar, explained his country has agreed to assist in Afghan peace efforts because Washington has changed its position by requesting help, instead of saying Islamabad is not doing enough, as U.S. leaders have previously insisted.

A spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday hailed Khan’s remarks and support for a political reconciliation in the war-ravaged neighboring country.

“The United States welcomes any actions by the Pakistani government to promote greater cooperation, including fostering negotiations between the Taliban, the Afghan government, and other Afghans,” the spokesperson told VOA.

“Special Representative Khalilzad has met, and will continue to meet, with all interested parties, including the Taliban, to support a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan,” noted the U.S. embassy official.

taliban, afghanistan
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, right, head of the Taliban’s political council in Qatar, takes part in the multilateral peace talks on Afghanistan in Moscow, Nov. 9, 2018. VOA

 

In his speech on Friday, Khan said that if peace were achieved in Afghanistan, his country will be the immediate beneficiary in terms of security, economic stability and regional connectivity.

Khalilzad, is visiting regional countries to gather support for Afghan peace talks. He is 14 days into an 18-day visit to the region and has already visited Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belgium.

Since taking office in September, the Afghan-born U.S. special envoy has held two meetings with the Taliban in Qatar, where the insurgent group operates its so-called “political office.”

But those talks have been for the sake of talks, say insurgent and Pakistani officials.

Demands, accusations

Pakistani officials privy to Khalilzad’s interaction with the Taliban have told VOA that until now no progress has been achieved because the insurgents adamantly demand “a date or timeframe” for all U.S. and NATO troops to withdraw from Afghanistan before the Taliban decides to participate in an intra-Afghan peace process.

Afghanistan, Taliban
Security forces inspect the site of a deadly blast in the center of Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 12, 2018. VOA

 

Washington has long maintained Taliban leaders are sheltering in Pakistan with covert support from the country’s intelligence agency. Washington has been urging Islamabad to use its influence to bring the insurgents to the negotiating table.

Pakistani officials say their influence over the Taliban has significantly declined over the years because the insurgents have gained control over large areas of Afghanistan and continue to pose serious battlefield challenges for U.S.-backed Afghan security forces.

Also Read: U.S. Welcomes Pakistan’s Actions Towards Peace in Afghanistan

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan 17 years ago and the war with the Taliban has since killed nearly 150,000 people, including Afghan civilians, security forces, insurgents and more than 2,400 American soldiers, according to an American University study released recently.

The longest war effort in U.S. history has also cost Washington nearly one trillion dollars. The Taliban has expanded its insurgent activities and currently controls or hotly contests about half of Afghanistan. The conflict is said to have killed more Afghan civilians and security forces in 2018 than in any other year. (VOA)