The government of Balochistan has, in principle, decided to lodge an appeal in the Supreme Court for a review on its interim order passed in the province’s law and order case.
The decision was taken at a high-profile meeting of the Apex Committee, chaired by Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi on Wednesday.
According to sources, it was suggested at the meeting that the review appeal be filed before the next hearing of the Balochistan law and order case, scheduled for October 31. It was also agreed during the meeting, however, that steps would be taken in line with the SC order to improve the law and order situation in the province.
Granting an extension in the period during which police authority would be delegated to the Frontier Corps (FC) was also discussed, and it was suggested that the matter be put before the provincial cabinet.
Apart from the SC interim order, a review of the overall law and order situation in Balochistan was also taken into consideration and it was unanimously agreed that better coordination amongst various government institutions, and stern action against the increased number of kidnappings for ransom, was needed.
It was also stressed that missing persons cases were of the highest importance.
Chief Minister Muhammad Aslam Raisani, Commander Southern Lt Gen Muhammad Alam Khattak, Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, FC Inspector General Maj Gen Ubaidullah Khan, Provincial Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani, Balochistan Acting Police Inspector General Ghalib Bandesha were present at the meeting held at Governor House Balochistan.
The decision to file a review appeal comes as little surprise – the interim order pinned the blame squarely on the provincial government. The court stated in its order that the Balochistan government could no longer be allowed to remain ‘a silent spectator’ and had directed it to adopt appropriate measures to end the sense of deprivation amongst people in the troubled province.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry also expressed dissatisfaction in the interim order over the performance of police in Balochistan, saying that the writ of the police could not be seen anywhere in the province.
The court was also dissatisfied over the government’s investigations into enforced disappearances and target killings, and ordered that the probe be handed over to the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the police.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2012.