QUETTA: Elders of the Bugti tribe have supported the government’s action against militant tribesmen who have attacked infrastructure in Balochistan with rockets. Addressing a joint press conference on Sunday, Mir Jalal Kalpar, Mir Tariq Massori and Mir Jamal Khan Kalpar denied that there was a ‘military operation’ in Dera Bugti and Kohlu. They praised the government’s drive against “miscreants” in these areas. They also accused Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti of committing atrocities against the people of his tribe, saying that he has expelled several people from the area and occupied their lands, houses and resources. The elders said that Balochistan had remained backward because of its sardars and nawabs, “who patronise thugs to prevent development” in the area. The local leaders fear that educated and progressive people might challenge their authority, the elders said. Massori said that people of the Bugti tribe support President Pervez Musharraf’s policies. He regretted the rocket-firing incident during the president’s visit to Kohlu on December 14 as “against tribal tradition, norms and values”. The elders said that Musharraf is a “true and sincere leader of the country” who has launched innumerable development projects in Balochistan, which has been neglected for more than half a century. They demanded that the government continue its action against “miscreants” until they are brought to justice.