ISLAMABAD: Issuing a warning that the Supreme Court could order for the arrest of law enforcement personnel nominated in FIRs for missing persons from Balochistan, the Chief Justice of Pakistan on Thursday ordered the advocate general Balochistan to recover the missing persons.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, hearing a suo motu case on Balochistan law and order situation, rejected the statement submitted by advocate general Balochistan Amanullah Kinrani and ordered him to submit another by July 31, a joint statement signed by the defence and interior secretaries and the Inspector General (IG) of Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan.
The chief justice objected to the contents of the statement submitted in compliance with the court’s July 25 order and remarked that the statement showed no commitment over the missing persons’ issue. The attorney general, upon the bench’s objection, submitted an amended statement but the bench rejected it again and said that the IG FC and the interior secretary should sign it first.
“Get the document signed or produce your law enforcement personnel nominated in the FIRs and we will get them arrested,” the chief justice ordered.
Inquiring about when the no-go areas in Dera Bugti will be reopened, the AG replied that only armed people were not allowed in the area, and that local tribal disputes also impeded movement. However, the chief justice noted that restriction on mass movement should be removed, but maintained that the area should be subjected to an arms embargo with ‘not a single bullet should be allowed in the area.’
Citing Zakir Khan’s case, Noshki, Tutak and Sareena hotel incidents, the chief justice said that the court had provided the concerned authorities with all evidences. “We have reached the stage where everything has been identified. We are now providing them an opportunity,” he remarked.
On the other hand, Raja Muhammad Irshad, counsel for IG FC, rejected the claims that FC personnel were nominated in complaints.
The bench adjourned the hearing till July 31 after observing that the incomplete statement by the advocate general would amount to misleading the court.
The chief justice appreciated the report that the Prime Minister had formed a core committee over the Balochistan issue, terming it a good thing.
Public domain institutions accountable
Justice Jawwad S Khawja while questioning Raja Muhammad Irshad, counsel for IG FC, observed that bearing public criticism was part and parcel of being an institution in the public domain.
"Today we have gone through parliament debate in which certain remarks were passed against us but we never bothered it. We are in public domain and receive salaries from public exchequer. How can we say that we are not accountable." he added.
He reminded Irshad that the media reported many things which were unpleasant sometimes but it was the essence of free society.