The families of some 200 victims of target killings in Balochistan have received Rs135 million as compensation in the past three years, the province’s chief secretary (CS) Ahmad Bux Lehri informed the Supreme Court on Monday.
According to the report on the law and order situation in Balochistan submitted by the CS to the division bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, 200 people were killed and 512 were injured in the past three years. The bodies of 181 victims have been recovered.
Lehri, who did not appear before the court on the last hearing despite court summons, tried to assure the bench that the law and order was improving in the province. The chief justice remarked that law enforcement agencies have failed to control the spiralling violence which has engulfed the province in the aftermath of Nawab Akbar Bugti’s killing.
The apex court was conducting the hearing of a case instituted by the president Balochistan High Court Bar Association on the rising incidents of violence in the province and the government’s failure to deal with the situation.
When the court inquired about the measures being taken by the provincial government to recover missing persons and check target killing, the CS said that all available resources are being used to curb terrorism in the province.
But the CJP remarked that the actual situation belies the claim. “It is time to get out of air-conditioned offices and assess the situation on ground and take steps to improve deteriorating law and order.”
The CJP had earlier observed that it was the responsibility of the chief secretary to protect the life and property of people under Article 9 of the constitution. Replying to a query regarding the missing lawyers, the secretary submitted that their families are not cooperating with the government for their recovery. The CS was granted additional time to prepare a detailed report. The bench adjourned the hearing till May 23.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2011.
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