A separatist movement is gaining momentum in Balochistan and to retain the restive province within the federation of Pakistan all political parties must wake up to the alarming situation.
These concerns were expressed by Yasin Khan Azad, the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association while addressing a press conference here on Friday afternoon at the Karachi Registry of Supreme Court.
“The situation in Balochistan is really alarming and it is heading towards separation. It cannot be compared with the situation in the three other remaining units of the federation where law and order is precarious,” Azad said.
“Please do not underestimate or be mistaken about the gravity of the Balochistan scenario,” he warned again and again during his press conference while passionately appealing to all political parties to bury their differences and come forward to save Balochistan. Referring to the recommendations moved after the consent of all political parties at a conference hosted by the Supreme Court Bar Association in Islamabad on May 26, he said that now it was the turn of the government and all other stakeholders to implement them.
To a question on the statement made by the Balochistan chief minister before the Supreme Court during the hearing of a suo motu case, Azad said, “If an elected chief minister is so helpless then he should resign.”
About the shortage of judges at the Sindh High Court, Azad said three judges took oath on Friday and the appointment of more would be considered and decided at a meeting of the judicial commission on June 2 (today). If it comes through, the SHC would get 10 to 12 more judges. The Sindh High Court has 17 judges but is supposed to have 40, he said, hoping that judges would also be appointed in Punjab and Khyber-Pukhtunkhawa’s high courts.
Responding to the allegation of taking a pro-government stance, Azad said that his association does not hold brief for anyone and that lawyers would react only on questions of national importance.
He clarified, however, that “any action against the Judiciary by the ruling junta would only lead to more protest and worsen the already bitter atmosphere”.
To a question about the attitude of the federal government towards judicial orders and authorities, Azad said that if any attempt were made to undermine the independence of the judiciary or its dignity, SCBAP would not tolerate it.
He was critical of attempts by politicians to take every issue to the superior courts and said political issues should be resolved by political means.
To another question Azad said, “Our superior courts know well how to get their decisions implemented. There are stages to every case before orders or judgments are implemented,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2012.