Govt can take action against Mush in Bugti's murder case: Malik

Pakistan government will take action if authorities in Balochistan make a request for the arrest of former President Pervez Musharraf in connection with Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti's murder case, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said.

The Balochistan government has not yet made any demand for Musharraf's arrest, Malik told a TV news channel. If the federal government receives such a request, action will be taken, he said on Sunday. Acting on a court's order, police in Balochistan province registered a murder case last month against Musharraf and several of his key aides in connection with the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Bugti in a military operation in 2006. The court issued its order in response to a petition filed by Bugti's son.

Over the past few months, a slew of cases and police complaints have been registered against Musharraf, who has been living outside Pakistan since mid-April. He quit as President in August last year to avoid being impeached. Malik said he was in contact with Baloch nationalist leaders, including Hairbyar Marri and Brahamdagh Bugti. Brahamdagh Bugti had been hurt by the murder of his grandfather Nawab Akbar Bugti and he should be "compensated", he said.

"We would try to remove his complaints," Malik said. Malik also confirmed reports that opposition PML-N chief and former premier Nawaz Sharif was not arrested for leading nationwide protests earlier this year for the restoration of judges sacked by Musharraf due to pressure from the US. "On the day of the protests in March, American Ambassador Anne Patterson phoned me, saying that the US is concerned about the expected arrest of Nawaz Sharif. I told her that I will not issue the arrest warrant for Nawaz Sharif...," he said. The protests led by Sharif forced the Pakistan People's Party-led government to reinstate the judges who were sacked for not endorsing the emergency imposed by the then military ruler Gen (retd.) Musharraf in 2007.

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