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Seeks joint reply on Balochistan’s problems from concerned authorities; directs effective steps to resolve kidnapping, target killings; advocate general admits law, order worsening; counsel says federation has no power to intervene in provincial matters
 
 
Sohail Khan
Thursday, July 26, 2012
From Print Edition
 
 

 

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought duly signed joint statements from the chief secretary, provincial police chief and the Frontier Corps (FC) inspector general on the law and order situation in Balochistan and said that it was the duty of every citizen, not just of 17 judges, to save the province and country.

 

The court also directed the authorities concerned to ensure the enforcement of Constitution in the province by taking effective measures to resolve incidents of kidnapping for ransom and target killing.

 

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing a petition filed by the Balochistan High Court Bar Association (BHCBA) on the protection of lives and property of the people in Balochistan.

 

Advocate General of Balochistan Amanullah Kinrani, the federation’s counsel Munir Piracha, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Yasin Azad and counsel for the intelligence agencies Raja Irshad appeared before the court.

 

Admitting the fact of worsening law and order situation in the province, the top legal officer of Balochistan said even members of the law-enforcement agencies were not safe in the province but he could not say that the state’s apparatus had failed here. He contended that the law and order situation in Balochistan was related to mere 200 persons and was not the issue of the entire 6.5 million population of the province.

 

Munir Piracha submitted that after the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the federation had no power to intervene in the matters of provinces.Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, however, remarked that no one was safe in Balochistan even in the presence of all law-enforcement agencies and a single culprit had so far not been brought to the book.

 

Justice Khilji Arif Hussain observed that the graph of law and order in the province was deteriorating and if the provincial government was unable to control the situation, it became the responsibility of the federal government to put things in the right perspective.

 

During the hearing, the court called Yasin Azad to the rostrum, seeking his guidance on the law and order situation in Balochistan. Azad, however, contended that the issue of Balochistan was getting out of hands and nobody was ready to take it seriously.

 

The SCBA president recalled that in view of the worsening situation in the province, the SCBA had convened an all-parties conference in May to seek an amicable solution and the conference had unanimously recommended that all political parties of the country should come forward and find a reasonable solution to control the law and order situation.

 

Azad said the conference had recommended that talks should be held at the highest level to address the real issues in Balochistan. He informed the court that after the conference, he had also sent a letter to the National Assembly speaker but was still awaiting a reply in this regard. Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing till today (Thursday).