”The people in Dera Bugti are very scared. If I had the support of the army, they would have taken me there. I would have been living happily in Dera Bugti,” Nawab Mir Aali Bugti said in an interview on phone Friday from Hyderabad town of Sindh.
"The army decides everything in Balochistan," the 40-year-old chieftain of the Bugti tribe said.
He said he was given an assurance by the authorities – “everyone was on board, the governor, chief minister, prime minister” -- that they would not interfere in the day to day affairs of the Bugti tribe and that was the reason he went back to for 11 months in 2010.
“This was a big lie,” he said, adding he then had to leave Dera Bugti.
“At the moment there’s nothing for us in Dera Bugti,” Aaali Bugti said. “They have snatched our rights,” he added.
He said he had filed the nominations papers in the last elections, but stayed away from electioneering as the state machinery was fully supporting his rivals.
He said his cousin Mir Gohram Bugti has been taken back to Dera Bugti, but described the move as an eyewash.
Though displaced like thousands of his tribesmen, living in Sanghar, Nawabshah, Hyderabad and Karachi, Aali Bugti refuses to surrender what he calls his birth right
“I am the rightful nawab. That is my birth right,” Aali Bugti said, explaining. “I am the son of Nawabzada Salim Bugti, the eldest son of the Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. That is how things work in Balochistan,” he emphasized.
Aali Bugti, who sounded to be quite down to earth and polite, unlike his late father who was known for being very harsh, said he enjoys the support of the heads of the eight sub-tribe waderas who had participated in his dastaar bandi.
“He did not want me to become the sardar, but it does not matter if he accepts me or not,” Aali Bugti said about his Swiss-based estranged first cousin, Brahumdagh Bugti. He explained that tribal affairs do not run on individual wishes and said that his estranged cousin may have the ambition to become the sardar of the Bugti tribe but that does not change anything.
He denied the impression more Bugtis were killed in the fratricidal clashes between his loyalists and the supporters of Brahumdagh Bugti than in the Bugti clashes with the army.
“There were small fights, here and there. That’s very common in our system,” he said. He said the Bugtis are a big tribe with half a million people and there may be some support for his estranged cousin, but that does not change anything.
He said his last communication with BrahumdaghBugti was in 2005, saying that his estranged cousin left for Afghanistan in early 2006. “It is not true that Brahumdagh bugti was with Nawab Bugti when he was assassinated,” he added.
He said there’s been precious little change in the relationship between the Rahejas, who are the chieftain tribe, with the rival Kalpars.
The legitimacy of a chieftain is decided in Baloch tribal customs by the Khan of Kalat. According to the present Khan of Kalat, Mir Suleman Daud, who is now in exile in Cardiff, Aali Bugti, is the legitimate chief of Bugtis.
Repeated attempts were made by this scribe to contact Brahumdagh Bugti in Geneva for his viewpoint, without success.