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Family feud likely over Akbar Bugti's legacy

Islamabad, Aug 31 (IANS) A family feud is likely over who claim slain Baloch leader Akbar Khan Bugti's legacy -- and wealth.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 | 11:27:37 AM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Islamabad, Aug 31 (IANS) A family feud is likely over who claim slain Baloch leader Akbar Khan Bugti's legacy -- and wealth.

Akbar Bugti left no clear successor, The News International said. Officials and locals say the biggest and most ticklish question following his controversial killing is as to who would succeed him.

Three of Akbar's sons are dead and one of them lives in Dubai, away from the rough and tumble of Balochistan. The newspaper said he has returned home. But that could be only for the last rites of Akbar Bugti.

Just two days before Akbar Bugti was killed, the tribe had announced that it was ending the 'Sardari' system. But that may be of little consequence under the new circumstances.

Whoever is the next 'tumandaar', or the chief of the beleaguered Bugti tribe of Balochistan, he would have to make peace with the government or, as per tribal traditions, decide to continue the fight.

It is a difficult decision since pacts tribal heads have signed in the past with the government have not been honoured and rebellions have been suppressed. Two previous chiefs have been jailed after they signed the pacts.

The slain Bugti, who had three wives, has two contending grandsons. Brahamdagh, 27, son of his third son, is now a fugitive. The nawab had tried to appoint him his successor, but was 'candidly opposed' by Waderas, the clan elders, the daily said. The elders said this was against tribal traditions.

The other contender is Adu, 22, son of the eldest son, who falls within these traditions. Adu has been managing the family land and property.

'We cannot give exact figures of the deceased Nawab's property and assets but these are certainly beyond one's imagination,' said a senior official of the Balochistan government.

One estimate reveals that the late chieftain got Rs.670 million (about $11 million) per annum from the so-called deal signed with certain oil and gas firms. It remains to be seen who will own Akbar Bugti's property and assets if no one is appointed his successor given the possible family feud.

According to Baloch traditions, the eldest son, with the consent of all the sub-tribal Waderas, should be declared his successor. In this case, Adu is the conclusive name that comes to mind, the newspaper said.

'Being the eldest son of Akbar Bugti's eldest son Salim, Adu is now flexing his muscles. He is also in the mountain hideouts.'

Adu is reported to have never stayed in Dera Bugti for any long period and is not well versed with Baloch traditions. Moreover, nobody in the family wants to see him succeeding Akbar Bugti.

According to Baloch traditions, Akbar Bugti's real strength comes from the writ of Waderas, who hold an assembly to declare a new Nawab - even if it is only a formality.

Akbar Bugti had many enemies within the tribe, which often kept members of the Bugti family outside Dera Bugti.

Rather they preferred to stay at Quetta. When Akbar Bugti asked the Waderas last year about their opinion on naming a successor during his lifetime, most of them had opposed Brahamdagh, saying it would be against the tribal traditions.

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Copyright : Indo-Asian News Service
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