Taking notice of incidents of enforced disappearances, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Tuesday said the problem of missing persons has become an issue of international level.
The chief justice made these remarks while hearing the province’s law and order situation case in the Supreme Court’s Quetta registry. The three-member bench hearing the Balochistan law and order case is headed by the chief justice and comprises Justice Jawwad S Khwaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain.
Justice Chaudhry said the provincial government could not be given more time at the cost of human lives, adding that the issue had remained sub judice for more than two years.
He added that if the funds given under the NFC award were distributed properly, many problems could have been solved.
“Unless employment and economic problems of the people are solved, internal instability can not be driven out,” the chief justice said, adding that terrorists breed in the society when justice is not provided.
He said the judiciary did not want to demoralise the forces but the issue of missing persons should not be made a matter of egos. Referring to one recovered person, Bansara Bugti, Chief Justice Chaudhry and Justice Khwaja said that in every second and third case, allegations were being levelled against the Frontier Corps (FC). The bench warned that if the missing persons were not recovered, a mechanism would be chalked out for the trial of the responsible.
Diverting the attention of FC lawyer Advocate S M Zafar to the son of a missing person Meharullah, who went missing in 2010, the chief justice asked him: “What would you reply to satisfy this child?”
An unmoved Advocate Zafar said he would get a reply from FC authorities and that would satisfy the child.
Chief Justice Chaudhry said the federal government had paid compensation to the dependants of the missing persons under a policy. He stressed upon the provincial government to take guidance from this policy and pay compensation to the people of Balochistan too.
He further stated that good governance deteriorated at a time when the executive violated rules and regulations, adding that people disappeared, mutilated dead bodies surfaced and personnel of forces were being killed – but nobody was arrested.
The bench also took notice of the transfer of officers in the constituency of Balochistan Assembly Speaker Muhammad Aslam Bhotani and asked Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fetah Muhammad on whose orders these officers were transferred.
The chief secretary replied that the orders were issued from the Chief Minister House but were cancelled later.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2012.
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