23 August, 2014 / Shawwal 26, 1435

SC wants govt stance on Balochistan case

Published Jun 01, 2012 06:26am

Supreme Court of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court in its interim order directed Khushnood Lashari, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, on Friday said that he should present a clear stance of the government on the Balochistan law and order case after consultation with the president and the prime minister, DawnNews reported.

"The apex court could issue notices to the pertinent the stake-holders under Article 6 but was showing restraint, " the court said.

The hearing of the case was subsequently adjourned to June 4.

Earlier during the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry expressed displeasure over the absence of Inspector General Frontier Corps Balochistan Maj-Gen Obaidullah Khattak, Attorney General Irfan Qadir and Secretary Defence Nargis Sethi. Moreover, Chief Minister Balochistan Aslam Raisani was present during today’s court proceedings.

A three-judge bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Jawad S. Khwaja heard the petition filed by the Balochistan Bar Association over disappearances and human rights violations in Balochistan.

Chief Justice Iftikhar said three people had been picked up since the proceedings began, adding that, bodies of three others, whose cases were being heard, were found in the province.

"What could be a grosser violation of the law than that those men that the authorities had been ordered to recover were killed," Justice Iftikhar said.

He also referred to provincial minister Mir Sadiq Ali Umrani who had said that the FC was involved in the killing of people whereas Justice Khilji remarked whether certain elements were trying to intimidate the court.

"We are aware that lives of law enforcement personnel were also being lost, however that does not empower anyone to take the law into their own hands," Justice Khilji said.

The chief justice said that authorities should produce those responsible for the situation before the court or IG FC Balochistan Khattak would be held responsible.

During today’s proceedings, the counsel of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) Advocate Raja Mohammad Irshad said that Khattak was in Iran at which the court expressed its displeasure and the chief justice ruled that the Khattak should be directed return immediately.

The chief justice also summoned the interior secretary and said that Balochistan should be treated as a part of Pakistan.

Justice Iftikhar inquired the Interior Secretary Khwaja Siddique Akbar over the role of the FC saying "why can you not suspend IG FC Balochistan".

Regarding the absence of the attorney general from the hearing, the chief justice said: "Why shouldn't the attorney general be replaced?"

He further said that Balochistan was burning and holding peace conferences would not lead to any solutions. The hearing was subsequently adjourned to June 4.

During the previous hearing, Justice Iftikhar had said that the Constitution would take its course if the prime minister failed to take steps, with immediate effect, to resolve the crisis in Balochistan, warning that imposition of emergency could be one of the options to restore sanity to the province.

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