The Supreme Court on Tuesday received written assurances from government functionaries and the inspector general (IG) of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) that they will take concrete steps towards improving the law and order situation in Balochistan.
During the course of proceedings, Balochistan Advocate General (AG) Amanullah Kinrani produced before a three-judge bench a joint statement which had been signed by newly-appointed Defence Secretary Lt General (retd) Asif Yasin Malik that was compiled on the directions of the apex court.
But the report submitted by Kinrani did not have FC IG Major General Obaidullah Khattak’s signature and the court returned the report and asked the AG to get it signed by the Khattak. However, the FC IG was reluctant to give any written assurances to the apex court.
When Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said: “You are the main person who can deliver if you sign this document willingly,” Khattak replied that although he realises that it was a matter of national interest but the interior secretary had barred him from signing the joint statement.
In response, Chief Justice Chaudhry ordered him to sign the document in court and the general of the Pakistan Army signed the statement and handed over it to the bench.
Kinrani informed the court that a committee headed by the defence minister has been constituted and they have come to the court after attending its meeting.
He revealed that another meeting would be held tomorrow (Wednesday), while its third meeting would be held in Quetta on Thursday. Kinrani assured that this was the first step towards improving the law and order situation in Balochistan.
The court then inquired from IG Khattak when the eight missing persons would be recovered to which he replied that they were making all out efforts to recover the missing men. While addressing him, the chief justice said: “If sincere efforts are made by you [Khattak] then the law and order situation can improve within seven days.”
The court also ordered the federal and provincial government to deal with the persons involved in target killings and kidnapping in Balochistan and recover the missing persons.
“There would be no compromise on the fundamental [human] rights. Law and order situation [seems to be] worsening day by day in Balochistan,” said the chief justice.
He was of the view that that people were being picked up for ransom but law enforcement agencies were not taking actions against those involved. “There could some political or other motives behind this failure.”
The court adjourned the hearing till September 3 and directed the federal and provincial governments to take solid and effective measures to improve the situation in Balochistan. The court also directed concerned officials to submit a weekly report to the Supreme Court.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2012.