Nawab Akbar Shahbaz Khan Bugti (Balochi, Urdu: نواب اکبر شہباز خان بُگٹی; 12 July 1926 – 26 August 2006) was a Pakistani politician and 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] He also became minister of state for defence in the cabinet of Feroz Khan Noon. Earlier, he had also served as the Minister of State for Interior.[2]

Akbar Shahbaz Khan Bugti
Bugti in 1970s
6th Chief Minister of Balochistan
In office
4 February 1989 – 6 August 1990
GovernorMuhammad Musa Khan
Chief MinisterGhulam Khan Korejo
Preceded byKhuda Bakhsh Marri (acting)
Succeeded byTaj Muhammad Jamali
4th Governor of Balochistan
In office
15 February 1973 – 22 November 1974
Preceded byGhaus Bakhsh Bizenjo
Succeeded byAhmad Yar Ahmedzai
Minister of State for Defence
In office
19 December 1957 – 8 April 1958
PresidentIskander Mirza
Prime MinisterFeroz Khan Noon
19th Tumandar of the Bugti Tribe
Preceded byNawab Mehrab Khan Bugti
Succeeded byNawab Aali Khan Bugti
Leader of Jamhoori Wattan Party
In office
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byTalal Akbar Bugti
Personal details
Born(1926-07-12)12 July 1926
Dera Bugti, Balochistan, British India
Died26 August 2006(2006-08-26) (aged 80)
Kohlu, Balochistan, Pakistan
Political partyJamhoori Watan Party
Spouse3 wives
ChildrenTalal Akbar Bugti
Salal Bugti
RelativesShahbaz Khan Bugti (grandfather)
Brahumdagh Bugti (grandson)
Shahzain Bugti (grandson)
Gohram Bugti (grandson)
Residence(s)Dera Bugti, Balochistan
ProfessionTumandar of Bugti Tribe, politician

He was involved in a struggle, at times armed, for greater autonomy for Balochistan. The government of Pakistan accused him of keeping a private militia and leading a guerrilla war against the state. On 26 August 2006 Bugti was killed when his hide-out cave, located in Kohlu, about 150 miles east of Quetta, collapsed.

Early life and family

Bugti meeting with Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Nawab Akbar Shahbaz Khan Bugti was born on 12 July 1926 in Dera Bugti (in present-day Balochistan). He was the son of the chief of his tribe, Nawab Mehrab Khan Bugti, and grandson of Sir Shahbaz Khan Bugti. He received his early education from Karachi Grammar School and later from Aitchison College after his father's death, later on he attended Oxford University. Being the son of the tribe's chief, he became the tumandar (chief) of his tribe after his father. Nawab Akbar Bugti had three wives and thirteen children (6 sons and 7 daughters) altogether.

From his first wife: Nawabzada Saleem Bugti, Talal Bugti, Rehan Bugti and Salal Bugti. None of them are alive today. Nawabzada Salal Bugti was murdered in a shootout in Quetta by the rival Bugti Kalpar sub clan in June 1996.[3] From Nawab Akbar Bugti's second wife: Jamil Bugti. And from Nawab Akbar Bugti's third wife: Shahzwar Bugti. Jamil Bugti and Shahzwar Bugti are the surviving sons of Nawab Akbar Bugti.

Akbar Bugti had five daughters from his first wife: Durr-e-Shahwar (deceased), Nilofer, Nazli (deceased), Durdana and Zareen. And two from his second wife: Shahnaz Marri (wife of Nawab Khair Bux Marri's relative, Humayun Marri) and Farah Naz Bugti (wife of Bivragh Bugti, the son of Nawabzada Ahmad Nawaz Bugti who was the brother of Nawab Akbar Bugti), who are the sisters of Jamil Bugti.

The Bugti grandchildren consist of Nawab Mohammad Mir Aali Bugti (the current Nawab of Bugti Tribe), Shaheed Mohammad Mir Zong Bugti, Shaheed Mohammad Mir Taleh Bugti, Mohammad Mir Zamran Bugti Chairman of P.J.W.P and Mohammad Mir Kohmir Bugti Vice Chairman of P.J.W.P (sons of Late Nawabzada Saleem Akbar Khan Bugti), Mir Brahamdagh and his two sisters (son and daughters of Rehan Bugti), Mir Shahzain President of J.W.P, Mir Gohram and Mir Chakar (sons of Talal Bugti). And two grand daughters (daughters of Salal Akbar Bugti).

Insurgency in Balochistan


Akbar Bugti was never in the forefront of Baloch nationalism, when compared to other Baloch leaders like Khair Bux Marri or Ataullah Mengal. He remained primarily a Bugti, fighting for his own tribe, and in particular his sub tribe.[4]

Increase of tensions in 2005


In 2005, Bugti 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. It also included a near 50% share of all the money used in the development of the province. In the meantime, attacks against the Pakistan Army also increased in the area, including a 2005 attack on a helicopter, in which the head of Pakistan's Frontier Corps and his deputy were injured.[5]

In March 2006, a crowded bus carrying a wedding party hit an anti-tank mine in Dera Bugti. The blast resulted in the death of 28 people, mostly women and children, and injured 7 others. Most of the victims belonged to Masoori Bugti tribe which had revolted against Akbar Bugti's rule.[6] Akbar Bugti claimed responsibility for the attack on the bus. Abdul Samad Lasi, a district chief, said that militants under the command of Akbar Bugti had planted hundreds of mines on dirt roads in various parts of Dera Bugti. The aim of planting such mines was to target the security forces in the area. Furthermore, he added that the Pakistani security forces had neutralized many of these landmines planted in the area.[7]



On 26 August 2006, Akbar Bugti was killed after the collapse of the cave in which he was hiding.[8]

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General, during a press conference, gave details regarding the death of Akbar Bugti. The Director General said that the soldiers were rushed to the nine-foot-wide mouth of the L-shape cave after one of the two guides hired to help locate Nawab Akbar Bugti in the Kohlu area had signaled that 'he was inside' the cave. The guides belonged to Bugti tribe. The Director General stated that the soldiers had gone into the cave "to negotiate with Akbar Bugti". The soldiers were ordered to apprehend Akbar Bugti, and not harm or kill him. Once the soldiers had entered the cave, a "blast of undetermined origin" took place. The blast brought down the cave, killing all occupants in the process. The Director General said that no fighting or use of explosives preceded the "mysterious" blast which resulted in its collapse.[9] Moreover, Director General also said that around 100 million Rupees and $96,000 cash, two satellite phones, documents, eight AK-47 rifles and some rockets were found in the rubble of the cave.[9]

Similarly, some analysts also believe that no official orders were given to kill Akbar Bugti. As Akbar Bugti was politically isolated because of the decision of Bugti tribesmen during a Jirga in Dera Bugti. The Jirga of Bugti tribesmen had declared an end to the Sardari (feudal) system and proclaimed that Akbar Bugti was no longer their leader. Hence, it was not logical to launch a direct military operation to kill the ailing old Akbar Bugti.[10]

However, according to some news reports, the cave collapsed because of the crossfire between the soldiers and the militants. As a result, 21 soldiers and 60 militants along with Akbar Bugti were killed.[11][12]

Later on, Pakistan military took media teams to the cave where Akbar Bugti was killed.[13][14] Pakistan army engineers cleared the rubble of the cave to retrieve the bodies of Akbar Bugti and others who were killed inside the cave.[13] On 31 August 2006, the body of Akbar Bugti was found crushed under a boulder.[15] He was identified through the glasses and Rolex wristwatch which was used by Akbar Bugti. His glasses, walking stick and Rolex wristwatch was presented to the journalists.[16]

Brahamdagh Bugti's claims


The Chairman of the Baloch Youth Council (London), Waja Mir Hazar Khan Baloch, said that Balach Marri was behind the murder of Akbar Bugti.[17] Hazar Khan said that he heard this accusation from Brahamdagh Bugti and that Brahamdagh Bugti told him that the cave in which Akbar Bugti was hiding in, came down due to blast by remote control and Balach Marri was standing just outside the cave at that time.[17][18] Balach Marri was the head of Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) at that time.



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.[19] Some of family members of Akber Bugti and people from Bugti tribe think that the dead-body buried in Dera Bugti was not that of Akber Bugti.[20]

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.[21]

Investigation and prosecution


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.[22] 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.[22] Musharraf was formally arrested by a police team from Balochistan on 13 June 2013, however was later granted bail due to his poor health and ultimately due to non-provision of evidence.[23]

See also



  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. ^ "Nawab Bugti: maligned, but widely respected". DAWN.COM. 28 August 2006. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Balochistan: Kalpars, Masuris and the Intra Bugti Clashes in Dera Bugti | IPCS". Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  4. ^ D Suba Chandran (2006). "AKBAR BUGTI AND AFTER IMPLICATIONS FOR BALOCHISTAN & PAKISTAN" (PDF). Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (38).
  5. ^ "Pakistan general hurt in attack", BBC News, 15 December 2005.
  6. ^ "Land mine blast kill 28 wedding guest". Arab News. 11 March 2006. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Mine blast kills 26 on wedding party bus in Pakistan". The New York Times. 10 March 2006.
  8. ^ Raza, Irfan (30 August 2006). "'Mysterious' blast caused collapse of cave: ISPR". Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  9. ^ a b Syed Irfan Raza (30 August 2006). "'Mysterious' blast caused collapse of cave: ISPR". Dawn News. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Making of Martyr". India Today. 11 September 2006. Archived from the original on 30 May 2019. Some analysts doubt Bugti's killing would have been sanctioned as a matter of policy. A few days earlier, the Government had managed to stage-manage a large jirga, or gathering, of Bugti tribesmen in Dera Bugti. The jirga had declared an end to the sardari (feudal) system, thereby making the laws of Pakistan applicable to their tribal areas, and proclaimed that Bugti was no longer their leader..... However, the fact that such an attempt had been made to politically isolate Bugti, makes the launch of a direct military action to kill the ailing old sardar, less understandable logically.
  11. ^ "Baloch leader killed in Pak". Hindustan Times. 28 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Clashes at Bugti's funeral prayers". Al Jazeera. 29 August 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Armymen clear cave rubble amid stench". Dawn News. 31 August 2006. Archived from the original on 29 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Army takes journalists to cave where they say Bugti was hiding". Associated Press (AP). Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  15. ^ "Baloch rebel chief body 'found'". BBC News. 31 August 2006.
  16. ^ "Akbar Bugti buried against family wishes". Arab News. 2 September 2006.
  17. ^ a b "Harbiyar be tried for murder of Justice Nawaz: BYC". The Nation. 25 February 2012.
  18. ^ "Harbiyar Marri to be tried for murder of justice Nawaz Marri". Pakistan Today. 25 February 2012.
  19. ^ "Lonely burial for Baloch leader". BBC News. 1 September 2006. Archived from the original on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 1 September 2006.
  20. ^ Plea filed in ATC seeking exhumation of Akbar Bugti’s grave
  21. ^ "Pakistan minister resigns after accusing army of killings". The Guardian. London. 26 September 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  22. ^ a b "Pak court issues arrest warrant for Musharraf in Bugti case". The Times of India. 11 July 2012. Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  23. ^ "Musharraf formally arrested in Bugti murder case". 13 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.



Further reading

Preceded by
Nawab Shahbaz Khan Bugti
Nawab Mehrab Khan Bugti
Tumandar (Commander) of Bugti Tribe Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Balochistan
Succeeded by
Ahmad Yar Khan
Preceded by
Khuda Bux Marri
Chief Minister of Balochistan
Succeeded by
Mir Humayun Khan Marri