The bench also expressed surprise over the fact that the ISI and the MI had requested it to treat as “top secret” the reports they had submitted earlier when, according to it, these hardly contained information that needed to be kept under wraps.       — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday underlined the need for gearing up the local government system in Balochistan to improve the law and order situation.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry which is hearing a petition filed by former president of the Balochistan High Court Bar Association (BHCBA) Hadi Shakeel, also asked Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq to find out why the intelligence agencies were insisting that a session on the matter be held in camera.

The bench also expressed surprise over the fact that the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Military Intelligence had requested it to treat as “top secret” the reports they had submitted earlier when, according to it, these hardly contained information that needed to be kept under wraps.

The court also asked the Balochistan government to file a comprehensive report explaining what it had done in the last three years to protect the lives and property of the people and to restore peace in the province.

Deploring the law and order situation in the province, the chief justice said travelling by train or road in Balochistan had become hazardous, even dangerous. The fast deteriorating situation had forced educated people to move out of the province, he said.

Educational institutions were being closed down because there was a shortage of teachers, he said, and cases of kidnapping for ransom and target killing were rife.

The bench reiterated that under Article 9 of the Constitution it was the state’s duty to protect lives and property without discrimination.

Balochistan’s chief secretary Ahmed Bux Lehri submitted before the court that the provincial government had approved the local bodies act and that the local government elections would be organised as soon as updated electoral rolls were ready.

Meanwhile, the bench again rejected a report submitted by Sindh’s inspector-general of police about the murder in Karachi of MPA Bakhtiar Domki’s wife and daughter. Mr Domki’s wife was the sister of Brahamdagh Bugti and the granddaughter of the late Nawab Akbar Bugti.

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