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Pak bans Akbar Bugti from travelling abroad

The Baloch nationalist leader and ten members of his family have put on exit control list to prevent them from travelling abroad.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 17:34 IST

Pakistan has banned top Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, who is leading the movement for greater autonomy for Baloch tribals, from travelling abroad.

Bugti and ten members of his family have put on exit control list (ECL) to prevent them from travelling abroad, Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said.

He told the Senate yesterday that the government had sufficient evidence that these persons have links to the "trouble-makers" in Balochistan.

Responding to an adjournment motion moved by JWP Senator Shahid Hassan Bugti in this regard, he said, "We have a number of reports from various agencies and quarters that some of the "ferari" camps are being operated (in Balochistan) on the insistence of few 'sardars'.

We also have reports that financial assistance to these camps is coming from outside the country."

Sherpao said the names of Senator Shahid Bugti and others including some women members had been placed on the ECL.

The minister said the senator had the right to challenge the decision in any court of law and the government was ready to produce evidence against him, he was quoted as saying in the media on Saturday.

Bugti, head of the Bugti tribe leads the Baloch nationalist movement, which demands more autonomy for the region.

Sherpao said it was not easy for them to put the names of three women family members of Akbar Bugti on the ECL but it was necessary because these women were providing financial support.

"We have sufficient evidence against these women too and we put their names on the ECL very reluctantly".

The minister accused the JWP chief of violating the agreement signed between him (Akbar Bugti) and the government under which Bugti was to remove certain checkposts and roads were to be opened.

He said there had been attacks on national assets in the province and the government had to take certain steps to establish its writ in the area.

Earlier, JWP Senator Shahid Bugti, while moving his motion, had alleged that the interior ministry had taken this step on the directives of military intelligence agencies.

"Who is running the country? The house should be informed as to whether these directives have been issued by the interior minister, Aftab Sherpao, or by some colonel or brigadier," he asked.

Senator Bugti, also nephew of Akbar Bugti said the letter, which he received on April 25 informing about the government's decision of putting his name on the ECL, showed that its copies had also been sent to the director-general Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the heads of the Military Intelligence and the Intelligence Bureau besides the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The senator alleged that his activities were being constantly monitored during his stay in Islamabad.