Centre, Balochistan govts have failed: SC

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the federal and provincial governments had failed in providing security to the people of Balochistan.

A three-member SC bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed heard the proceedings of the case on a petition by the Balochistan High Court Bar Association over the breakdown of law and order and human rights violations in Balochistan.During the hearing, the chief justice said the Balochistan government had lost its constitutional authority to rule over the province. He stated that Habibullah Mujahid was recovered after paying ransom. “If the government had recovered him, the apex court would have given credit to the Balochistan government,” he said.

Counsel for the Balochistan government, Shahid Hamid, told SC an abducted man, Qasim, was recovered when he was being transferred to another place, adding that Levies personnel had arrested the culprits in Mastung. The chief justice asked whether the culprits involved in abduction of Dr Saeed had been arrested. Hamid said it had been investigated so far that culprits involved in kidnapping Dr Saeed belonged to Quetta city. The CJ remarked that the SC was interested in the recovery of missing persons.

“The Balochistan chief secretary has been maltreated by the Balochistan government because he supported and implemented the court’s orders,” Justice Chaudhry remarked, adding that they would protect the chief secretary.He said everyone knew who killed Shias in Balochistan and it was not a difficult task to control sectarian killings, just like they had been controlled in other areas of the country.“It is a constitutional responsibility of the government to protect life and property of citizens,” the chief justice stated.

During the hearing, the Balochistan home secretary submitted a report regarding the law and order in the province, but the court declared the report unsatisfactory and the chief justice said no one had been arrested over killings of hundreds of innocent people and nothing had been done to control and improve the law and order in province.

He said ministers rushed towards police station in order to get culprits released from police custody and if a federal minister could go to jail, why could provincial ministers not. The court said people were recovered after paying ransom and the law and order in Balochistan was evident from reports submitted by the federal and provincial governments. The SC ordered the counsel for the Balochistan government to submit another report on the next hearing and inform SC how was the province being ruled.

An earlier interim order by the apex court on October 12 was reproduced that had ruled that the Balochistan government had lost its constitutional authority to govern the province because of violation of fundamental rights and a failure to establish the writ of law. The court later adjourned the hearing until January 14.