ISLAMABAD: Inspector General Frontier Corps Major General Obaidullah Khan and Balochistan Inspector General Police apperaing before the Supreme Court as it heard a case on Balochistan security and cases of missing persons, left everyone stunned on Monday. No person involved in almost 2000 terrorist attacks had been arrested in Balochistan since 2011 on the basis of investigations they told the court.
The revelations were made by the Inspector General of Frontier Corps Major General Obaidullah Khattak in the Supreme Court before Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. He added that those currently in custody are those who had surrendered themselves up or had confessed to 886 attacks.
CJP Chaudhry observed that in 95 per cent of the cases, people of the province had blamed FC involvement. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain observed that once FC and security institutions were enjoying the relations of trust and respect with the public, but this had drastically decreased due to FC’s errant strategy.
Major General Khattak, answering court summons, appeared before the Supreme Court on Monday. He said that the three missing persons, allegedly abducted by FC, were currently being traced.
The court, however, was less than convinced with his arguments and told him to restrict FC’s activities to within its lawful ambit.
A video was also screened during the proceedings showing FC personnel picking up a boy and speeding away in a vehicle, that boy is now missing. The IGFC, however, denied the charge, saying that there existed the possibility that FC uniforms were being misused by unknown people.
He added that as per FC standard operating procedures (SOPs), at least two vehicles ply on the road side by side at any given point in time.
The court raised several questions after watching the video but IGFC could not satisfy the court in this regard. When the court asked him why the particular vehicle was not stopped at a check post by security officials, Khattak said that that the check post actually did not belong to the FC.
The chief justice asked whether FC and police was not on same page for maintenance of law and order situation of the country.
Making no headway in extracting satisfactory answers regarding the missing persons, an exasperated CJP Chaudhry asked “General, if FC is also not aware about whereabouts of the missing persons, then tell us whether the missing people ‘aasman kha gaya ya zameen nigal gayee’ (whether they were eaten by the sky or the ground opened up and swallowed them whole)?”
The court then gave the police and FC chiefs half an hour for a joint conference to formulate a strategy to recover the missing people.
After conference, both IGP Balcohistan and IGFC assured the court that they realise their duties and they will ensure the recovery of missing persons before next date of hearing, scheduled for May 21. The court asked both top officers to make joint efforts for the recovery and also directed the to collect relevant data for the purpose.
“General, keep in mind briefing about other cases of law and order and missing persons when this bench will convene in Quetta from May 21 to hear this case.”
General Khattak while giving assurance to the court said that recovering missing persons had now become their common object now. “You will see progress on your visit to Quetta,” general assured the Chief Justice.
During the hearing, Khattak told the court that that the FC was taking keen interest in recovery of the missing persons.
Hamid Shakeel, DIG Balochistan, repeated his statement before the court that traffic police officials have witnessed FC personnel abducting Mehran Khan, son of Murad Khan in broad daylight. He added that FC men had told the sergeant that Khan, 29, was wanted in a case of indiscriminate firing on the forces.
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