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Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. — File photo

QUETTA: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Tuesday took notice of the doctors’ protest in Balochistan and directed the police to provide security to the medical officers, DawnNews reported.

The chief justice issued the directive on Tuesday during the hearing of a petition on the law and order situation and human rights violations in Balochistan at the Supreme Court’s Quetta registry.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, was hearing the petition filed by the Balochistan Bar Association on the law and order situation in the province.

During the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar questioned as to why no suspects were being arrested despite the killings of a sessions judge and of personnel from the police and the Frontier Corps.

He further said that no progress had been made in order to arrest kidnappers operating in the province.

However, Quetta's police chief Mir Zubair Mehmood disagreed and said that progress had taken place but could not be discussed during a hearing which was open to the public.

The chief justice also took notice of the doctors' protest in the province and directed the police to provide security to the medical officers.

Upon which, the city police chief said that Balochistan had approximately 5,000 doctors, out of which Quetta had some 1,500, which included 73 professors.

Mehmood said the city police did not have the strength to provide protection to all doctors.

Moreover, in his remarks, Chief Justice Iftikhar said there were certain places in the provincial capital where even the police could not venture.

Balochistan doctors protest doctor’s killing

The Pakistan Medical Association and Baloch Doctors Forum on Monday decided to boycott OPDs and operation theatres for three days in protest against the killing of a senior medical officer of Khuzdar civil hospital.

Armed men on a motorbike gunned down Dr Dawood Aziz Jan on Monday who was going to the hospital from his residence.

Dr Jan died on the spot. His body was moved to the civil hospital for autopsy and later handed over to relatives.

Monday's hearing

Earlier during Monday’s hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar had observed that the government should take the Balochistan issue seriously and come up with a workable solution to the crisis.

The chief justice had said Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s statement that the army would support any solution to the Balochistan problem within the parameters of the Constitution was encouraging.

Furthermore, the chief justice had again ordered the federal government and the Frontier Corps to recover all missing persons and produce them before the court as soon as possible.

Additionally, the court had asked the deputy attorney general to submit by Oct 13 a detailed report on the situation in Dera Bugti.

The chief justice had also stated that law-enforcement agencies should strictly adhere to Article 9 of the Constitution to ensure that the life and property of citizens were protected.