Balochistan case: SC rejects chief secretary’s report on province
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a report submitted by Chief Secretary Balochistan Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad on the southwestern province’s security situation during the hearing of a petition on the law and order situation and human rights violation 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.
During the hearing, the chief secretary said no secret operation was being carried out in the province.
The chief secretary submitted a report before the bench on behalf of the Balochistan government on the province’s law and order situation. It was rejected by the apex court shortly afterwards.
In his remarks, the chief justice said that no changes had been made to the report which stated that no secret operation was ongoing in the southwestern province.
Moreover, the report stated that no so-called ‘death squads’ of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Military Intelligence (MI) were operating in Balochistan.
It further stated that there were no ‘missing’ persons in the custody of the country’s intelligence agencies.
The chief secretary informed the bench that an affidavit had already been submitted in the case.
Also during the hearing, the bench restricted the chief secretary from initiating a political discussion on the Aghaz-i-Huqooq-i-Balochistan.
Chief Justice Iftikhar remarked that the chief secretary should answer questions that he had been asked, adding that, it was not the court’s business to discuss politics.
Moreover, Attorney General Irfan Qadir requested the court’s permission to discuss Balochistan’s former chief minister Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal’s statements of Thursday.
The bench rejected the request saying no discussion would be conducted on Mengal’s statements.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar remarked that the country’s political parties should come together to resolve the issues plaguing Balochistan.
He further remarked that President Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s chief Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan should “understand the situation” as leaders of major political parties.
The chief justice said the government would have to take certain effective steps before a point of no return was reached with regard to the restive province.
He said the situation in the province was continually deteriorating, adding that, Mengal’s return was a major step on part of the Baloch leader.
The bench adjourned the case’s hearing to Oct 8 which is scheduled to take place in Quetta.
The court moreover declared that a case-by-case hearing would be carried out from Oct 8 in the ongoing trial.
Akhtar Mengal speaks out
Earlier during Thursday’s hearing, Mengal had described enforced disappearances as the real cause of the current unrest in Balochistan.
“Why should not we divorce peacefully rather than seeking for a bloody divorce if the rulers have decided to keep on giving us mutilated dead bodies,” Sardar Mengal said.
Sardar Mengal, president of the Balochistan National Party, had come from London to especially apprise people of the issues responsible for the breakdown of law and order in the restive province.