Incensed by the continued absence of the attorney general from the hearing of the Balochistan law and order case, the chief justice on Tuesday summoned the concerned federal secretaries.
Heading a three-judge bench, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that the federation and Attorney General Irfan Qadir were not interested in the volatile security situation in Balochistan.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by the Balochistan Bar Association at the apex court’s Quetta registry.
A visibly angry chief justice said that AG Qadir would not be allowed to enter the court without prior permission. He summoned the federal secretaries for interior and defence on Wednesday to apprise the court of steps taken to improve law and order in the province.
Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief Nawabzada Talal Bugti, who was also present in the courtroom, said that if he left the volatile Dera Bugti area, “external forces” would take over the territory.
To this, Justice Chaudhry said that it is crucial to resolve the Dera Bugti issue for restoring peace in the restive province. Talal Bugti said travelling to Dera Bugti in the presence of paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) would be suicidal.
Balochistan’s chief secretary informed the bench that the government was putting in place measures to restore peace in the area. “Providing security to the people is a duty of the government,” said Justice Chaudhry.
An alleged missing person, Bansra Bugti, who was recovered from Dera Bugti recorded his statement during the proceedings.
Bansra said that he was shifted to the Chaman police station after his recovery. “My brother, Kaho Bugti, was also in the FC camp in Dera Bugti. I don’t know his whereabouts now,” said Bansra.
The chief justice directed the Chaman magistrate to explain why Bansra was arrested.
Tariq Omar Khitab, the provincial inspector general of police, submitted a notification about quashing shoulder promotions. Justice Chaudhry ordered that all police officers who had been transferred to Quetta and were trying to get their transfers reversed should report to the Balochistan government within a week.
Balochistan’s home secretary presented a report on cases of violence in the province. According to him, 176 people were killed while 213 were wounded in 108 cases of violence over the past six months.
The victims included 46 Hazara community members, 33 FC personnel, 41 policemen, six scholars and 16 settlers.
According to the home secretary, the number of decomposed dead bodies went up to 426 from 381. As many as 148 incidents of kidnapping for ransom were reported from parts of the province. Of them over 100 were recovered by law enforcement agencies.
The court also expressed displeasure over the report of the murder of Hakmal Raisani, a nephew of Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani. “If the law-enforcement agencies did not find any clue to the killer, then all investigation is useless,” the chief justice said. At one point during the hearing, Justice Chaudhry asked the advocate general to bring doctors, who had been on strike for over a month in Quetta, into the court. He ordered them to end the strike, to which they agreed. The court will resume hearing tomorrow (Wednesday).
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2012.