Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. — File photo

QUETTA: The Supreme Court on Monday resumed the hearing of a petition on the law and order situation and human rights violations 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, was hearing at the court's Quetta registry the petition filed by the Balochistan Bar Association on the law and order situation in Pakistan’s largest province.

During the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar inquired over the delegation of policing powers to the Frontier Corps (FC).

The chief justice said that police officials were violating court's orders and the situation had deteriorated to the extent that a district judge was assassinated along with his security guard.

Addressing Inspector General Balochistan Tariq Omar Khitab, Chief Justice Iftikhar inquired what the police had been doing and why had the FC been delegated policing powers when there were already allegations against it.

Chief Justice Iftikhar moreover said that smuggled cars were being used in Balochistan and that people were openly carrying arms.

He further said that nine districts in Balochistan were sensitive and directed the inspector general police to submit a list of victims of targeted killings in the province in the past six months.

Earlier on Aug 23, Chief Justice Iftikhar asked the home secretary and the inspector general of police to launch a major crackdown on elements creating law and order problem in the province.

Law enforcement agencies should go with full force against the elements opposed to peace in the province, he said.

Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province by area, is rich in oil and gas but remains one of the most deprived areas of the country. Rights activists have accused the military of mass arrests and extra-judicial executions in its bid to put down a separatist insurgency.

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