Pakistani chieftain warns of uprising

A powerful tribal chieftain has threatened armed resistance if the Pakistan government uses force in the country's restive southwest.

    Baluch tribesman say they want a fair share of gas revenue

    Rebel clans have been fighting for years for a bigger cut of the natural resources from barren Baluchistan, but tensions flared up last month after the gang-rape of a woman doctor at a state-owned gas plant in the province. 
    Nawab Akbar Bugti told a telephone press conference from an unknown location that "the situation in Baluchistan is alarming and there could be an armed resistance if a military option is opted, which I can see coming soon".
    "Baluchi people may die in large number but there can be casualties on the other side as well," Bugti said.

    Pylong targeted

    "Baluchi people may die in large number but there can be casualties on the other side as well" 

    Nawab Akbar Bugti,

    Baluchi tribal chieftain

    His warning came as suspected tribal rebels blew up an electricity pylon near the town of Sibi, 110km (68 miles) southeast of the provincial capital Quetta, on Monday, officials said. The powerline was not broken.
    Four rockets also landed near a paramilitary camp in Kohlu district 230km (142 miles) east of Quetta, on Monday but there were no casualties or damage, according to police. 
    On Monday night, paramilitary troops seized four rockets, four bombs, detonators, fuses and 27kg of explosives southwest of Quetta, an official of the Frontier Corps said. 
    String of attacks

    No one claimed responsibility for the latest attacks. A shadowy group linked to the tribesmen called the Baluchistan Liberation Army has previously said it carried out a string of offensives.
    Among them was a rocket attack in January on Pakistan's largest gas plant at Sui in Baluchistan, where the rape victim worked, which left eight people dead and disrupted supplies to millions of consumers.
    Authorities said the Bugti tribe headed by Nawab Akbar Bugti was also involved in the attack.
    Regular and paramilitary forces have moved into the area, and Bugti said the large army presence around Sui indicated "an army operation is possible." 
    Arrest sought

    Pakistan denies it is seeking a
    military solution to the problem

    The government has repeatedly said it has no such plans and is trying to resolve the problem in Baluchistan through political dialogue. 
    For his part, Bugti reiterated his demand for the arrest of an army officer allegedly involved in the rape of the doctor.
    "The army is trying to protect their man, because he is related to an army general, but he is a key suspect and should be arrested," he said.
    At least three people have already been arrested in connection with the rape, according to officials.



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