Justice Qazi Faez Isa
Justice Qazi Faez Isa

QUETTA: Discrepancy in remarks by the Balochistan chief minister, the government spokesperson and the Quetta DIG had only damaged proceedings on the attack on Sandeman Civil Hospital in Quetta, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, who is heading the Supreme Court judicial commission’s inquiry into the attack, noted during Saturday’s hearing.

He remarked that it appeared as if the provincial government was deliberately trying to impede the court’s proceedings. “Controversies and difference in statements...have created the impression that the provincial government is deliberately trying to damage court proceedings.”

He said that the chief minister had claimed that the mastermind behind the attack had been arrested while the Quetta DIG had denied any knowledge of the development. The judge also raised questions about a statement of a government spokesperson in this regard.

“The judicial commission will not allow the government to play politics. We will call the chief minister to appear before the commission to record his statement regarding the arrest of the man behind the attack,” Justice Isa said.

Sandeman Civil Hospital Resident Medical Officer Dr Javed Akhtar submitted that the explosion had occurred while he was entering the X-ray room. “Then I saw people bathed in blood,” he said.

He told the commission that doctors, paramedics and nurses had not moved to provide emergency first aid. He said that routine patients had been registered in the hospital register, but, the people injured in the blast could not be registered. He submitted an X-ray of Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi showing a bullet lodged in the body.

The DIG told the commission that police personnel had taken into custody the mobile phones of the deceased and injured lawyers to obtain data. He said the government had made it seem as if the policemen had stolen their mobile phones.

Advocate Masoom Kakar, a witness, submitted that law enforcement personnel had arrived at the hospital almost half an hour after the attack had occurred. During that time, media people were busy shooting footage of the deceased and injured lawyers instead of helping them, he said.

“Lawyers conducted the rescue operation as neither law enforcement personnel nor media persons present there had helped us,” he said. Later, the law enforcement officials arrived at the hospital and ordered the lawyers to vacate the hospital saying that the army chief and other VVIPs were arriving, Mr Kakar said. Scores of lawyers were killed and injured in the suicide attack at the Sandeman Civil Hospital in Quetta on Aug 8.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2016