Iftikhar Chaudhry
During the apex court's hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry while addressing the chief secretary said that there was a dearth of efficient officers in Balochistan why were the incompetent officers not removed from their posts.      — File photo/Online

QUETTA: During the hearing of a petition on the law and order situation and human rights violations in Balochistan on Thursday, the Supreme Court directed the defence secretary, the chief secretary, the inspector general police and the FC’s inspector general to submit a joint statement on the issue, 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, the bench directed Defence Secretary Lt-Gen (retd) Asif Yasin Malik, Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, Inspector General Police, Balochistan, Tariq Omar Khitab and Inspector General Frontier Corps (FC) Obaidullah Khattak to submit a joint statement by 12:30 pm today, after which the court would issue its orders.

The defence secretary appeared before the apex court whereas the deputy attorney general informed the court regarding the federal interior secretary's absence.

The court had summoned the federal interior secretary and the federal secretary defence for the hearing today.

Addressing the chief secretary, Chief Justice Iftikhar said that there was a dearth of efficient officers in Balochistan and asked why incompetent officers had not been removed from their posts.

Justice Iftikhar remarked that despite the fact that the court was hearing the case for the past four days, there was  zero progress on the issue, adding that, no one was ready to take responsibility in the province.

He cited the example of a 16-year-old son of a businessman, who was kidnapped for ransom from the province's Pishin district 16 days ago, but could not be recovered despite the presence of the deputy commissioner, police and levies.

Moreover, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain remarked that every one was sleeping under a blanket and that no one had any sense of responsibility.

He further said that Balochistan was the soul of Pakistan and therefore needed to be stabilised.

The bench moreover directed the FC's inspector general to submit in writing whether the FC had succeeded or failed in its duties.

The IG FC said that his organisation was working day and night to ensure peace in the province and was not wasting time.

The counsel for FC, Raja Irshad, said that the situation in Balochistan was deplorable and that some foreign forces were acting in the province.

The chief justice questioned if any foreign agents had ever been apprehended, adding that, action should be taken against apprehended foreign agents.

Also during the hearing, Bansra Bugti, who was recovered from Dera Bugti and is the brother of missing person Kaho Bugti, appeared in before the bench and recorded his statement.

He told the court that he and his brother had been detained together, adding that, he had been released whereas authorities were denying having detained his brother Kaho.

Women from the Hazara community present for the hearing informed the court that 750 people had been killed since 1999.

Earlier during Wednesday's hearing of the case, the Supreme Court had observed that the rising incidents of sectarian and target killings in Balochistan were tarnishing the country's image internationally.

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