Tuesday April 23, 2024

Why self-rule not allowed in Balochistan: CJ

By Our Correspondent
May 10, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) was told on Wednesday that situation in the province of Blaochsitan could get better if elections were conducted in free and transparent manner as Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed why self-rule was not allowed in Balochistan and why the province was not allowed to govern it on its own.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by the CJP, heard a suo motu case on water scarcity in the province. During the course of hearing, former chief ministers Abdul Malik and Sanaullah Zehri appeared before the court wherein the chief justice asked them to give proposals that could help in normalising the situation in the province. The CJP also expressed concern over the state of education and health in the province.

Former chief minister Abdul Malik submitted before the court that the situation in the province could only be improved provided the authorities ensure free, independent and transparent elections.

The chief justice, however, observed that the court had no direct role in holding elections, but they would look into whatever they could do. The chief justice asked the former chief executives of the province as to whether they were satisfied with water situation in the province. The CJP observed that some water sources had dried up, and asking them as to what steps they had taken to overcome the matter of scarcity of water in the province. The chief justice cautioned the former chief ministers saying they should not say about the short of funds for addressing the issue.

Abdul Malik contended that he had tried his level best to make the dysfunctional government functional, adding that when he took over the charge, incidents of terrorism, sectarianism, and mass killing were prevalent. Hence he said that in order to improve the situation, they had to give preference to the law and order situation for which they had to bring reforms in the Levis and police. In this respect he contended that they allocated Rs10 billion to police and consequently, there was a sharp decrease in crime ratio from 2013 to 2015. He said that in order to improve the education sector, budget was increased from 4 percent to 24 percent and evolved policies for improving the schooling system.

The chief justice, however, observed that there were no walls of some 6,000 schools and thousands of schools are lacking toilets. Malik, however, replied that it requires some Rs62 billion for this, while the total budget of the province is Rs42 billion. He claimed that they have the credit to have established six universities and two medical colleges

Justice Ijazul Ahsen asked former chief minsiter Sanaullah Zehri as to whether they have taken any measures for addressing the problem of scarcity of water in the province by launching any water scheme.

The former chief minister said that after 5pm, nobody could come out from home adding that whatever they could do, they did and now they have left the government. But the chief justice said someone has to be made responsible for doing nothing better for the province.

Later, the court directed former Balochistan chief ministers to submit their replies and adjourned the hearing for today (Thursday).