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Sherpao gets pre-arrest bail in Bugti murder case

29 August, 2012

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QUETTA: The Balochistan High Court (BHC) on Tuesday accepted the pre-arrest plea of former interior minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao in the Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti murder case.

Sherpao had submitted the application on Monday and the court granted him bail against surety of Rs 1 million rupees. The former minister appeared before a two-member bench of Justice Jamal Mandokhel and Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mengal who heard the case. An anti-terrorism court had issued arrest warrants of Sherpao in the Bugti murder case after which he moved the Balochistan High Court for bail.

Counsel for the former minister, Professor Muhammad Umer Farooq, argued that his client had no knowledge of Bugti's murder, adding that Sherpao came to know about the operation against the Baloch leader through media reports. Farooq said Sherpao had recorded his statement to an investigation officer, adding that his client did not have a "direct role" in the operation nor any approval for any such offensive was sought from him.

Sherpao told the court that he was named in an FIR because he was a member of the federal cabinet. The court accepted his pre-arrest bail against a surety of Rs 1 million and asked him to appear before the court in the next hearing on September 3.

Speaking to the media after the hearing, Sherpao said he had no role in the military operation in Balochistan, adding that the offensive was carried out at the behest of the provincial government. He said that there was room in the constitution that if any province could not tackle law and order it could seek help from the federal government and army. He said that he would submit his written statement to the court in the case while he had already recorded his statement before the investigation officer.

Sherpao said that he had great respect for courts and would fully cooperate with the Sibi anti-terrorism court. Referring to unrest in Balochistan, he said that earnest efforts were needed for the solution of problems facing the province, adding that people had lost trust in the federal government.

End.

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