Balochistan top official given two weeks to act
QUETTA: Terming the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti a big mistake, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry observed on Wednesday that peace could not be restored in Balochistan until the issue of Dera Bugti was resolved. He directed the provincial chief secretary to take steps to improve law and order in two weeks.
A three-judge bench, comprising the chief justice, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, is hearing a petition on the law and order situation and human rights violations in Balochistan at the Quetta Registry of Supreme Court.
Talal Bugti, son of late Akbar Bugti and Jamhoori Watan Party chief, informed the court that various forces had entered and taken control of Dera Bugti and travelling to Dera Bugti in the presence of the FC was tantamount to committing a suicide.
Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad said the provincial government was taking steps to maintain peace and improve the situation in Dera Bugti district.
The chief justice asked him to include the names of Nawab Bugti’s relatives in the voters’ list of Dera Bugti. “It is the responsibility of the government to provide security to people.”
Bansra Bugti, who was recovered from Dera Bugti, recorded his statement before the court and said he had been detained in the Chaman police station.
The chief justice asked why Bansra had been arrested and ordered the Chaman magistrate and police to submit their replies.
He said the court would set up a committee which would visit camps to trace Kaho Bugti, a missing person.
The chief justice expressed annoyance over the continued absence of Attorney General Irfan Qadir and said it was the responsibility of the federal government to send him. He directed the deputy AG to summon the six federal secretaries who had assured the court that they would take steps to improve the situation in Balochistan.
The court expressed dissatisfaction over a report on missing persons submitted by the advocate general of Balochistan. He said the authorities concerned had obtained arrest warrants for former chief of ISI Balochistan Brigadier Siddique in the Ali Asghar Bangulzai missing case.
“Who will arrest him,” the chief justice asked. He should be arrested, he said.
When asked about the progress in recovery of six Hindus kidnapped from Kalat, Home Secretary Nasibullah Bazai informed the court that some suspects had been arrested and efforts were being made to recover them.
About the progress in the Nawabzada Haqmal killing case, the court was informed that investigation was continuing and a banned organisation had claimed responsibility for killing him. But the court was not satisfied with the progress and asked the authorities to increase the number of policemen and strengthen them.
The chief justice asked the advocate general to bring with respect the striking doctors who were waiting outside the court. The chief justice asked them to end their strike and they agreed.
Balochistan IG Tariq Omar Khitab submitted to the court a notification quashing shoulder promotions in the police department.
The chief justice said all police officers who had been transferred to Quetta and were resisting the move should report to the provincial government within a week.
The home secretary submitted a report on target killings in the province over the past six months. According to it, 46 people belonging to the Hazara community were killed and 36 others injured in 21 incidents; 20 religious leaders died in six incidents; 33 FC personnel were killed and 47 injured in 33 attacks; 41 policemen died and 50 suffered injuries in 25 incidents; and about 36 other people were killed and 35 wounded in 23 different incidents of violence.
The home secretary said that about Rs598 million in compensation had been paid to the families of those killed over past three years. He said the bodies of 426 people had been recovered, but 381 cases were registered. The cases have been transferred to 26 districts.
Quetta police chief Mir Zubair informed the court that five target killers had been arrested and they had confessed to the crimes. He said Quetta was a densely-populated city and controlling crimes was a challenging task.
DIG crimes branch Saleem Lehri submitted an investigation report on Hakmal Raisani who was killed in a bomb attack. He said police had collected some evidence and a banned organisation claimed responsibility for the killing.
But the chief justice was not satisfied with the report and asked the DIG to come up with a comprehensive report.
He asked the home secretary and Deputy Commissioner Hashim Gilzai to take steps to make Quetta an arms-free city. “People are carrying arms openly in the city, but nobody is there to stop them. Officials are busy only in holding meetings and forming committees,” he regretted.
The hearing was adjourned till Wednesday.