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Absence of FC chief irks SC

May 11, 2012

ISLAMABAD, May 11: Displeased by the absence of inspector general of the Frontier Corps, Balochistan, and non-production of three missing persons, the Supreme Court warned the FC official on Friday that he would be taken to task if he did not show up on Monday.

“No institution is bigger than the Supreme Court,” Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed. He regretted that no-one was appearing before the court in an important case.

The court also warned that an order would be issued against Inspector General of FC Maj-Gen Obaidullah Khattak if he considered himself above the court. It ordered him and the inspector general of Balochistan to produce the three missing persons on Monday.

A two-judge bench was hearing a petition on the law and order situation and human rights violations in Balochistan. It was filed by former president of Balochistan High Court Bar Association Hadi Shakeel.

Major Sohail, representing the FC, informed the court that the FC IG was not available. “The court is not very eager to see the FC chief. It is only interested in knowing if the FC will produce the missing persons when there is enough evidence regarding its involvement in lifting people,” the chief justice said.

The court regretted that the federal government was not taking interest when the situation prevailing in the province needed its special attention.

Balochistan DIG (operation) Hamid Shakeel claimed that the three disappeared persons had been picked up by the FC and it could be proved from the CCTV footage of a private hotel showing them being whisked away by FC personnel.

The court directed the Balochistan police to produce the CCTV footage at the next hearing.

Advocate General of Balochistan Amanullah Kinrani sought more time, but the court said time would be given only if officers like the FC IG and Balochistan police chief assured it that they would produce the missing persons.

“It will be a great disgrace for the FC if they keep lifting people like this. Families of the missing persons have pointed their fingers at the FC,” the bench observed.