The SC on Balochistan

Published: September 4, 2012
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Apex court directs federal and provincial govts to take concrete measures in Balochistan. PHOTO: FILE

Apex court directs federal and provincial govts to take concrete measures in Balochistan. PHOTO: FILE

The Supreme Court remains unamused by the unfolding sequence of events in Balochistan. At the latest hearing held by a three-member bench of the apex Court, on a petition regarding the law and order situation in the province, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, besides commenting on poor policing and impossibility of maintaining law and order in the province, also termed the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti “the biggest mistake”. The chief justice also gave directives for including Nawab Bugti’s family in the voters’ list. The chief justice quite rightly lamented the hopelessness of a situation where a sessions court judge could be killed on sectarian basis without the government being prompted into taking any sort of action. In addition, the wisdom behind handing police powers to the FC when it has been accused of extrajudicial killings in the province also raised eyebrows among those sitting on the bench. The Court rejected the government’s response that there had been no increase in the number of people who had gone missing and that the number of dead bodies turning up on streets had declined. The bench pointed out that ‘settlers’ from other provinces continued to flee Balochistan, which was hardly an example of a comforting law and order situation within the province.

The Court hearings on Balochistan have highlighted many of the wrongs that have been committed in Balochistan, including the assassination of Nawab Bugti. But the problem is that even though top law-enforcement officials have appeared in the Court, no solutions have emerged, with killings on sectarian and ethnic bases continuing. As the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has pointed out, not many of the people who had gone missing have resurfaced despite the apex Court’s efforts in this regard.

The Court has been able to identify issues — and sometimes culprits. What we need now is a means to fix the mess. Law enforcement alone is not the answer. The political forces enjoying influence in Balochistan need to be engaged in a process that can lead towards genuine order and be encouraged to begin a dialogue on this without further loss of time. Unless this happens, things will not improve.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Mirza
    Sep 4, 2012 - 11:51PM

    The SC judges say “killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti “the biggest mistake”.
    Killing of a nationalist leader of Baluchistan is only a mistake according to the SC judges! What are the real crimes then? What could be a bigger crime than killing an 80 years old nationalist leader without a trial? The general only make mistakes not murders or high treason, while the elected leaders commit crimes!

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  • Sep 5, 2012 - 10:11AM

    @Mirza: Bro. Unfortunately your biasedness with regards to SC has rendered the situation a bit foggy for you. SC clearly said it was the biggest mistake which by any definition means that Army committed a blunder headed by Musharraf at that time. It has also clearly stated that FC is responsible for the mess in Balochistan – again led by Army. I am ready to give all the the points to civiliians administration for setting the things correct… but where are they?

    I know you will reply that SC only goes after the civilians and can it lay its hands on Army Chief? Even if SC hacks the head of Army Chief.. who is going to come in to play next? Of course the civillian administration… but where are they?

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  • casim
    Sep 5, 2012 - 1:29PM

    @Mirza:
    can you please give me one good CJ in past who was as outspoken as CJ Ifhtikhar ? :) some Pakistanis just love to pass negative remarks on everyone & then they cry when that person leaves just the way people now say that dictatorship was better than PPP government.

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  • Reader
    Sep 5, 2012 - 3:31PM

    CJP has jumped the gun yet again. The court has still to establish if Bugti was killed or died resisting arrest.

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  • Mirza
    Sep 5, 2012 - 10:01PM

    I very humbly want to see a single order/decision/verdict by the SC against the killings in Baluchistan. The SC judges do not need to make political and populist speeches but legal decisions. There has not been a single decision by the SC in any of these areas except the contempt and chasing the elected govt. Of course the govt is fearful of the powers of SC and army as the history of their collusion is dark and bleak. Please stop politics and make the decisions and punish the killers and stop releasing terrorists. Is it asking too much?Recommend

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