Karachi: Bench warrant for Balochistan governor in poaching case
KARACHI: According to the Dawn News on Tuesday, warrants of arrest for Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, the Governor of Balochistan, and Jameel Bugti, son of the late Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, have been issued in a poaching case registered in Sindh against them by the wildlife authorities a few years ago. Mr Magsi was not governor at the time the case was registered. The warrants issued by Judicial Magistrate and Civil Judge Sehwan at Thano Bula Khan on Aug 26 this year directed the authorities to produce the accused in the court at the next hearing on Sept 26. The Sindh government has sent the warrants to the Balochistan government so that the accused could be brought to the court to face the charges of illegally hunting in a protected area. The warrants in the case – state versus Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi and others – were issued under sections 7 (i) (ii), 10, 14, 15 of the Wildlife Act. According to the warrants, the accused “stands charged with offence under sections 7 (i) (ii), 10, 14, 15 of Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Ordinance 1972. You are here by directed to arrest the said accused and produced him before me. Here in fall not. Valid up to Sept 26, 2010. After receiving the warrants, the Sindh home department’s section officer (judicial 1) sent a letter to the Balochistan home department on Sept 15 for taking necessary action. Despite repeated attempts, this correspondent could not contact the Balochistan home secretary to get his version or know what action, if any, his department had taken to implement the court orders. According to a Sindh Wildlife official, acting on a tip-off a team of the department, along with local police personnel, arrested Zulfiqar Magsi, Jameel Bugti, Danish Iqbal, a relative of former federal minister Liaquat Jatoi, and Captain Abdul Latif Farooqui for hunting partridges and sand grouse in Tianghar area of Mahal Kohistan Wildlife Sanctuary in Jamshoro district’s Khirthar National Park. On being told that he had been arrested, the official said, Mr Magsi reportedly told the raiding team, “I am Zulfiqar Magsi”, and repeated it three times. They prevented police and wildlife officials from searching their vehicles and taking custody of the game. They drove off with the poached birds after completing legal formalities. The official said that Nawab Magsi had tried to influence the wildlife personnel by talking about his status and later tried to protect the other accused by claiming that he alone had hunted the birds and later signed the FOR — Sindh Wildlife Department’s equivalent of police FIR — as a poacher/accused. The official said the accused had been released on bail after the case was registered and they left with their hunting trophies.