Judiciary will be content when law and order is restored: CJP

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry

QUETTA: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Thursday said the judiciary would be content when law and order was restored in the country and the killers of innocent people were arrested and cases were registered against them. He, however, said nobody was safe here.

The chief justice made the remark 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. SM Zafar, the lawyer for the FC, continued his arguments in the apex court on the fourth day of the hearing and said that sitting in the court, he had got the impression that the government of Balochistan had failed to maintain law and order in the province, adding that when a government failed to maintain law and order, the anti-state elements and different gangs raise their heads.

He also told the apex court that the total strength of the FC was fifty thousand and its basic responsibility was to guard the frontiers, but to maintain law and order in Balochistan 24 percent of FC manpower was deployed on important installations in the province. He further said the FC faced attacks on two fronts. The first attack was physical, which had claimed the lives of 432 personnel of the force and injured around 400 to 600.

The second attack, he said, was psychological, which comprised what he called baseless allegations against the FC. Responding to the arguments of the FC counsel, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that judiciary sympathised with the FC but it had to limit itself to the issue of law and order and cases of missing persons then.

Frontier Corps Inspector General Major General Obaidullah Khan told the Supreme Court that only 12 percent of the 50,000 FC personnel were natives of Balochistan. The CJP also said that if the FC personnel were rendering sacrifices why was there a negative perception about the force and allegations that it picked up people and operated without informing the executive.

SM Zafar asked the CJP if the judiciary would be satisfied in the future if the FC cooperated in investigation. Justice Iftikhar replied, “We would be content at the time when law and order was restored and the people who had been killed their assailants were arrested and cases were launched against them in the court but nobody is safe here.” He stressed that the FC’s job was to establish peace in the restive province. Balochistan Advocate General Amanullah Kinrani told the court that the government had a list of missing persons and there were 78 names on it.

While noting that ministers have alleged there was proof of involvement of a foreign hand in the unrest in the province, Justice Khawaja questioned why were they not providing information pertaining to foreign involvement to the concerned institutions. Court adjourned the hearing of the case until October 19. – Dailytimes