In another jolt to the Balochistan government, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday that the provincial chief minister should take responsibility for the deteriorating law and order situation, but stopped short of ordering the government to step down.
In a short order, the apex court reiterated that both the federal and provincial governments have failed to provide security to the people of the province and have flouted its previous rulings in the case.
“You are running the government at your own risk and cost,” Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry told the Balochistan government’s counsel, Shahid Hamid.
In its interim order issued on October 12, the court ruled that the Balochistan government had failed to maintain law and order, and directed the federal government to stop being a silent spectator and adopt appropriate measures to protect the lives and properties of citizens.
“The judgment is still intact but the government has flouted the court’s order,” the chief justice observed, while heading a three-judge bench.
He added that Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani should take responsibility for the killings and disappearances in the province instead of blaming the police.
In response, Balochistan Advocate General Amanullah Kanrani said that if the court orders, the provincial government could resign today. However, the chief justice told the advocate that the judges did not know what the government wanted to do, adding that their lawyers should read the Constitution as well as the order.
Furthermore, during proceedings, the chief justice said that despite the fact that they passed a detailed interim order, not a single missing person has been recovered to date. He added that the sorrow of the families of missing persons was increasing on a daily basis. Justice Gulzar Ahmed even inquired whether anyone was arrested by law enforcement agencies with concrete evidence.
The government’s counsel, however, insisted that the police had arrested criminal gangs, adding that the situation in the province had improved. Advocate Hamid also submitted a fortnightly progress report on behalf of the provincial government but the court expressed dissatisfaction over it.
Meanwhile, Baz Muhammad Kakar, the counsel for the Balochistan doctors’ association, informed the court that the provincial governor had himself said that all members of the provincial assembly were “thieves”.
The chief justice said that everyone in Balochistan knew who was responsible for the worsening law and order situation in the province, adding that even the provincial home minister has admitted that “their people” are involved in cases of violence.
Advocate Hamid informed the court that the government was providing security to the doctors; however, Justice Gulzar pointed out that if the government improved the overall law and order situation, there would be no need to provide special security to the doctors.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2012.