Suo motu hearings: Terror wave prompts apex court action

Seeks reports before the Balochistan law and order case hearing on Aug 15.

Mudassir Raja August 12, 2013
CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry. PHOTO: FILE


Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Sunday took suo motu notice of the recent wave of terrorism in Balochistan and sought reports from both the provincial and federal governments.

The chief justice issued notices to Attorney General of Pakistan (AG) Muneer A Malik, Bolochistan advocate general, interior secretary, Balochistan chief secretary, Balochistan Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Frontier Corps (FC) authorities Quetta to submit their detailed reports in the court before the date of hearing in Quetta fixed for August 15.

“It appears that the situation of Balochistan is deteriorating day by day and there is hardly any preventive action in sight to protect the citizens. The people are suffering acts of violence and are facing insecurity. The successive incidents of terrorisms caused death of several innocent persons,” noted the order of the CJP dispersed to the media through an official press release.

“As the matter relates to Balochistan, therefore, the case is fixed before the bench working at Branch Registry Quetta on August 15,” further noted the order, directing the authorities on notice to submit reports explaining the government’s policy to combat the incidents of violence and terrorism and to appear before the court.

The Chief Justice took notice on a note submitted by the Supreme Court Registrar about three recent acts of terrorism reported in the national media. The CJP decided to hear these matters along with the already pending case about the law and order situation in Balochistan.

The note is based on the media reports of three incidents the first of which took place on August 6. On that day Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) killed 11 civilians and two security men near Machh Town in Bolan district after they were kidnapped from Punjab-bound buses.

About 200 armed men wearing the uniforms of the FC and Levies carried out the attack and lined up the passengers in the mountains before killing them. The victims were going to their hometowns of Rahimyar Khan, Sadiqabad, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Multan to celebrate Eid with their families.

The second incident took place on August 8, when a police officer Mohibullah was shot dead as he was going to market with his children.

Later in the day, a suicide bomber struck during his funeral killing at least 30 members of the police force, including Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Fayyaz Ahmed Sumbal, and injuring 60 others.

Thirdly on Eid day gunmen killed 10 people and wounded several others after opening fire outside a mosque on the outskirts of the Quetta city.

According to details, armed persons, taking position outside the Jamia Farooqia Mosque, opened indiscriminate fire, reportedly to target former provincial minister Ali Madad Jattak and his guard when they were leaving the mosque after offering Eid prayers. This attack resulted in the death of 10 people including the former minister’s guard, while over 30 men sustained injuries.

“These incidents resulting in the loss of human life including innocent citizens as well as personnel of law enforcement agencies have dampened the public spirit on the solemn occasion of Eidul Fitr,” the note of the registrar reads.

“All this warrants action on the part of Supreme Court, where the case of law and order situation in Balochistan (Constitution Petition No. 77 of 2010 and other connected cases) are pending,” it further noted.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2013.