ISLAMABAD: With Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry heading for Quetta to hear petitions relating to law and order in Balochistan, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has requested an in-camera session on the matter.
In a letter sent to the court ahead of a hearing in Quetta, a senior ISI official wrote: “In order to have a holistic view of the situation prevailing in the province, this Directorate General be allowed to make a comprehensive presentation to the honourable Supreme Court on April 3.”
Scores of people have been killed in terrorist activities and sectarian attacks in the province in recent months. And human rights organisations have reported enforced disappearance of dozens of Baloch nationalists.
Although the Balochistan home department claims that only 48 people have gone missing, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has put the number of missing persons at several hundred.
The apex court heard several petitions on March 22 about violations of human rights in the province and announced that the bench headed by the chief justice would sit in Quetta in the first week of April to deliberate on the matter.
The bench directed the Balochistan chief secretary and inspector-general of police to prepare a comprehensive report containing tehsil-wise crime data and explaining what steps were taken to maintain law and order in rural and urban areas of the province.
The bench also asked the officials to enumerate the reasons behind the increase in cases of violence in the province. It also asked them to explain why teachers and other professionals were reluctant to serve in Balochistan.
“There are so many complaints regarding missing persons. The IGP… is required to submit a comprehensive report, taking up the case of each of the missing persons in Balochistan,” said the bench.
Through the attorney general, the Supreme Court also directed the ISI, Military Intelligence (MI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) to submit details of persons yet to be recovered.
“At the same time, these Agencies are required to give detailed reasons, may be in camera, in respect of persons whose dead bodies are found in abandoned places/areas, including the citizens as well as the members of the Forces,” the court said.
The bench observed that several reports had been submitted to the court on behalf of the ISI, MI and IB and that “the same shall be shared by the Advocate General Balochistan for the reason that if needed he shall also give briefing to the court upon them”.
The court said it had gone through the reports and instructed the agencies to file fresh reports on the matter.