SC seeks reply on Hazara security issue

Govt promise to employ deceased lawyers’ kin questioned

Our Correspondent October 17, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Acknowledging a complaint about attacks on members of the Hazara community, the Supreme Court has sought a reply from the Balochistan government over their targeted killings.

The issue came up when a three-judge bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, resumed hearing a suo motu case regarding last year’s terrorist incident in Quetta wherein more than 60 lawyers were martyred.

Liaqat Agha, a representative of the community, told the bench that Hazara people were facing immense security threats and even pilgrims travelling back from Iran were being attacked. He said the government should be instructed to provide complete security to the community.

The bench also observed that the Hazara community was being attacked. It asked the Balochistan advocate general to submit a written reply to an application filed by the community’s representative.

Two Hazara community members gunned down in Quetta

During the hearing about last year’s attack, Hamid Khan, counsel for the Balochistan High Court Bar Association, told the bench that the provincial government had announced that jobs would be given to a member of each deceased lawyer’s family.

However, Advocate General Amanullah Kunrani objected to giving the jobs on various grounds. He said differences had already emerged within the families about receiving the compensation and jobs.

Justice Khosa observed that government jobs should not be distributed on the basis of inheritance and nepotism. He said employment should be provided on merit and if the members of the legal fraternity began giving jobs then there would be no difference between them and political leaders. The judge said the country would only progress when poor people’s children would get employment.  Justice Khosa further said that if the courts began doing everything then there would be allegations that the judiciary was crossing its limits.

Hamid Khan said the jobs issue was still under consideration by a committee comprising representatives of the bar and high court judges.

Three Hazaras among five dead in gun attack on Quetta van

The bench asked the provincial government to transfer five acres to the Balochistan Bar Council and develop the land for giving plots to the families of the deceased lawyers.

The bench will consider the interior ministry’s plea against Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s Quetta Inquiry Commission report later. However, Justice Khosa again lauded Justice Isa for holding the inquiry into the incident and compiling a very comprehensive report. He said the report’s recommendations were very significant. The hearing was adjourned till November 27.

The commission had highlighted the ministry’s ‘monumental failure’ in countering terrorism and objected to former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s meeting with the leader of a banned group, as well as ‘delays’ in banning militant groups. In response to the report, the interior minister had also submitted a 64-page report, requesting the country’s top court to expunge the commission’s remarks against him.

Meanwhile, another bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, sought legal assistance from the attorney general regarding the appointment of superior court judges in Gilgit-Balistan. The hearing of the case was adjourned till November 14.

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