The Anti-Terrorism Commission (ATC) issued arrest warrants for the guarantors of ex-President General Pervez Musharraf. This is with regards to the extra-judicial killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti, the Baloch Nationalist Leader in 2006. This however, creates a particularly uneasy dilemma. Bugti was a widely beloved leader in his native province, and was recognized as a fierce war lord. He had a somewhat remarkable role in the region, not only through his involvement in armed struggle through the 50s, 60s and 70s, but also his tenure as the Governor and Chief Minister of Balochistan. Prior to his death however, he had started another armed campaign against the Government of Pakistan, leading to the death of more than 400 officials and military personnel, as well as the destruction of an important gas pipeline. The subsequent prosecution of Musharraf for military action against a man, in armed rebellion against the state is a very dangerous precedent to set. It leaves leaders both at present, and in the future, in an extremely awkward position should such a situation resurface, where arms are taken up against the government.

The Army should not be allowed to feign naivety or ignorance, and it is imperative that all the available options are exhausted, and diplomacy is always utilized as the primary tool-of-choice for government policy. However, militancy in whatever form against the state, should not be tolerated. A leadership that is unresponsive to a show of force, and allows itself to be backed into a corner can very quickly surrender its authority and encourage other anti-state agents. The romanticizing of Bugti by the public as a war-lord fighting for his province is inevitable, and a lack of action against his extra-judicial killing would only serve to deepen the inherent resentment of the Balochi people towards the state. But in a country with widespread unrest, and ever-increasing factions, the courts need to find a middle ground, without endorsing a legal precedent for armed revolt.