By Razzak Abro
Bugti and Mazari tribes have temporarily suspended their ten-year feud in Balochistan, which has so far cost the lives of more than one hundred people, reports say. On Saturday, Sardar Sher Ali, son of veteran Baloch politician Sherbaz Mazari, met Sardar Akbar Bugti at Mr Bugti’s house in Dera Bugti, where the two leaders announced a ceasefire. Meanwhile, the security forces continued raids in Sui town and surrounding areas to arrest insurgents involved in the recent attacks on gas installations, official sources told Daily Times in Kashmore.
Talking to the local media, Mr Bugti said since it would take time for a permanent settlement to be reached, the suspension of the feud was temporary. The two tribes would open routes for each other, he announced, which they closed when the feud began in 1994, with each of the tribe seeking royalty for a development project in an area dominated by both tribes. Reports suggested this temporary settlement would mainly benefit the Bugti tribe because the Mazaris controls the routes leading to Sindh and Punjab provinces.
Security forces started raids against insurgents midnight Friday, the official sources said. However, there was no formal confirmation of the arrests. All the main entry and exit points of the tiny town, which houses this premier gas field of the country, have been sealed off. Commercial activities in Sui have sharply diminished, with the main bazaars and shops in the town closed, witnesses said. Some of the inhabitants migrated to safer areas for fear of a military operation in the town. Reports gathered by this correspondent suggest Bugti tribesmen had fortified their positions in anticipation of a military operation have led Bugti tribesmen fortified their positions. The reports quoted the Bugti tribesmen as saying they had gone to fortified positions in a defensive move, not to attack the security forces.
Sunday, January 16, 2005