IB report on Quetta an ‘eye-opener’: Insecurity turns democracy into disorder: CJ
ISLAMABAD, Feb 21: The Supreme Court has described a report of the Intelligence Bureau on the recent Quetta carnage as an eye-opener and said that lack of protection for people always turned democratic order into disorder.
“This is not possible for intelligence agencies to provide exact date or time of an eventuality, rather information has to be put together on your own,” Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry observed on Thursday while pointing towards members of the Balochistan administration during hearing of a case about the Feb 16 Quetta massacre.
A three-judge bench had summoned Home Secretary Akbar Durrani and Capital City Police Officer Mir Zubair Mehmood in the case. The Commandant of Frontier Corps, who was busy with operational commitments, was represented by Major Sohail.
During the hearing on Wednesday, the Supreme Court had treated the IB report as confidential and its contents were not divulged by the chief justice who said he did not want to demoralise anyone.
On Thursday, Attorney General Irfan Qadir, who submitted reports on behalf of the federation with a request to treat them as reports by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf, and suggested that all these be considered as confidential.
Although CCPO Mir Zubair Mehmood conceded before the court that his department had been receiving threats since the Jan 10 Alamdar Road bomb blasts, it did not have any specific information about the Feb 16 Hazara Town blast. He explained that his department always took seriously the information it received.
“I cannot protect the entire city of Quetta with 2,000 to 3,000 policemen with additional assistance of 1,000 FC men,” the CCPO said, adding that one SHO and five police officers, who were at the blast site, were still missing.
“DNA testing is being conducted of whatever small pieces of flesh we have collected whereas the leg of one SP, who reached the scene soon after the blast, had to be amputated.”
Agha Nasir Ali Shah, a PPP legislator belonging to the Hazara community, said that 26 members of his community were missing, but their families believed they must have been killed.
“We had made an elaborate plan to prevent such happenings,” the CCPO explained, but admitted that terrorists had taken advantage of water scarcity in the area where tankers supplying water was a common sight.
And despite two police pickets and six FC checkposts in the area, no-one suspected a water tanker which passed through all these checkposts, laden with explosives.
Terrorists had placed 800 to 1,000kg of explosives in the tanker.
A number of improvised explosive devices had been detected and defused in nine operations carried out before the Feb 16 incident, the CCPO said. About 183 people arrested in different raids, he said, were being interrogated.
But the chief justice described these efforts as inadequate and asked why the accused were not arrested by using sophisticated devices to detect explosives and why jails were being broken with impunity.
Police should have combed the entire area to prevent such incidents in different cities of Balochistan especially when the general elections were round the corner, the chief justice observed.
He recalled that in 1986 Gen Imran Khan had conducted an operation to clean up the entire Balochistan.
The CCPO said the city police was in the process of securing sophisticated equipment.
“Do not think you are an officer, you are son of the soil as God Almighty has given you the chance to serve people and for all intent and purposes people were looking towards you,” the chief justice said, adding that the CCPO should not be demoralised since challenges did come in life.
“I am a proud commander of Quetta police which had lost 50 men and many more are ready to lay down their lives,” he assured the court.
The Supreme Court ordered the FC commandant to submit a comprehensive report under his own signature also suggesting preventive measures his department had taken.