ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the joint response filed by Interior Secretary K M Siddiq Akbar, Defence Secretary Lt-Gen (retd) Asif Yasin Malik and Chief Secretary Balochistan Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad in the law and order situation and human rights violations in Balochistan, DawnNews reported.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, heard the petition filed by the Balochistan Bar Association on the law and order situation in Pakistan’s largest province.
The bench had earlier directed the above-mentioned officials as well as Inspector General Frontier Corps Maj-Gen Obaidullah Khattak to file their statements in the case but later barred the attorney general from submitting the government’s response in the case.
The hearing, which was adjourned until Thursday, had begun with an exchange of harsh words between the chief justice and Attorney General Irfan Qadir.
During the hearing, the chief justice had objected to the appearance of the attorney general in the courtroom. Upon which, the attorney general had said: “If you think that I should not appear for the hearings, then I should not be called for these.”
Chief Justice Iftikhar had directed the attorney general to read the court’s order, upon which, Qadir had said that the court’s orders reached him late.
The bench had moreover termed a report on the province by Balochistan’s chief secretary “a formality” that he had fulfilled.
The chief justice had also remarked that the court had been knocking on every door to resolve the Balochistan issue, adding that, it had no choice but to reveal the contradiction between the Constitution and the approach of the government.
Earlier on Wednesday, the interior secretary had arrived at the Supreme Court after the bench warned that action would be taken against him in case he failed to appear before it.
Prior to the interior secretary’s arrival, the bench had stated that Akbar must appear before the court in 30 minutes’ time, adding that, if he failed to do so, the court would get him suspended.
Justice Khawaja had moreover said that if the secretary failed to appear, his arrest warrant would have to be issued.
Furthermore, the chief justice had said that the court would direct the Establishment Division to suspend whoever did not respect its orders.