FC involved in abducting people, SC told
ISLAMABAD: Besides acknowledging the role of the Frontier Constabulary in disappearance of people, the Balochistan government has expressed its helplessness in controlling the force.
Balochistan’s Advocate General Salahuddin Mengal submitted to the Supreme Court on Wednesday a report on killings, murders, abductions and kidnappings for ransom in the province and said the governor had even sought the help of the army chief in curbing the increasing lawlessness.
“We are recovering dead bodies day in and day out as the FC and police are lifting people in broad daylight at will, but we are helpless. Who can check the FC,” Mr Mengal said. “End the burning issue of missing persons first and then blame the Balochistan government for not controlling law and order.”
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Mohammad Sair Ali and Justice Ghulam Rabbani has taken up a petition filed by Balochistan High Court Bar Association President Hadi Shakeel seeking protection of people’s life and property in the province. He has cited different incidents of brutal murder of lawyers.
The court again summoned FC’s inspector general for March 8, but asked the provincial government to find a solution to the problems by utilising the service of notables and tribal elders and reviving the centuries-old Baloch tradition of ‘jirga’. “The Balochistan chief secretary who belongs to the Lehri tribe is a Baloch and a capable man who understands the peculiar situation of the province,” the chief justice observed.
He said the chief secretary should play his role because it was time to pay back to the people of Balochistan.
The court was informed that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani would soon visit Quetta.
The chief justice said the army chief’s help could be sought because the matter concerned the country’s survival.
The chief secretary is required to appear before the court and submit a report suggesting remedial measures for improving the situation.
At the insistence of Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq, the court accepted the prime minister’s Feb 28 speech in the National Assembly on Balochistan as a policy statement. However, the court said it would have appreciated if the prime minister through the AG had placed on record a categorical statement on the situation.
“As it was observed at the last date of hearing, the law and order situation is required to be tackled in accordance with the Constitution and it is the duty of the state, including the federal as well as the provincial, to protect the lives and properties of the citizen in terms of Article 9 (security of person) without any discrimination,” the court said in its order.
The court asked both the federal and provincial governments to come up with steps required to be taken so that an appropriate judicial order be ensured. It said the proceedings in the matter could not be adjourned for an indefinite period because of the sensitivity of the matter and asked the government to accelerate efforts for the recovery of missing persons.
In his report, Advocate General Mengal said that whenever an FIR was registered bodies of victims were found. “People are not forthcoming because of the fear,” he said. But the chief justice was not convinced by the report. He asked the advocate general not to talk of helplessness and suggested that public representatives from Balochistan should sit together to find out a solution. He asked the advocate general to suggest to the provincial government to win people’s hearts by taking difficult decisions like pursuing cases of the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti and others.
The attorney general said the military intelligence had no role in Balochistan, although the director of Inter-Services Intelligence had submitted a report to the court in this regard.