Balochistan case: SC directs govt to submit report


During Wednesday’s hearing of a petition on the law and order situation and human rights violations in Balochistan, the Supreme Court reissued directives for the submission of the government’s report on the matter and adjourned the hearing.
According to a private television channel, a three-judge bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, heard the petition filed by the Balochistan Bar Association on the law and order situation in the province.
During the hearing, the bench summoned the Interior Secretary K M Siddiq Akbar to appear before it in 30 minutes time.
The bench moreover expressed its displeasure of the failure of the interior secretary to submit a report on the province’s law and order situation.
Chief Justice Iftikhar remarked that the issue was serious and warned against its careless handling.
The bench directed the deputy attorney general to call the interior secretary along with the report.
The deputy attorney general said that Attorney General Irfan Qadir wanted to present his arguments on the matter.
Responding to which, the chief justice said that the bench had summoned the report, adding that, the arguments would be heard later.
The chief justice moreover remarked that everyone with authority was involved in the violation the Constitution in Balochistan.
He further said that if the Constitution was not being implemented in the province then under what authority was the Balochistan government operating.
The chief justice then held a short dialogue with Balochistan’s Additional Advocate General Azam Khattak.
Subsequently, Chief Justice Iftikhar directed the Balochistan government to file a response by 11:30 explaining what legal authority it had to govern the province.
The court took a short recess after which the hearing resumed around 11:30.
Upon resumption, the attorney general told the bench that all, including the court, should operate within their constitutional limitations.
Qadir moreover stated that the government would file a review petition against the court’s order.
Responding to which, Justice Khawaja said that filing a review plea was a right.
Furthermore, the interior secretary failed to appear before the bench with the additional interior secretary seemingly appearing as a substitute.
The bench expressed its displeasure on the interior secretary’s absence and the chief justice said that the court’s directives should be taken seriously.
The chief justice reiterated that it was the interior secretary who had been summoned as opposed to the additional interior secretary.
The attorney general reiterated that the bench had exceeded beyond its mandate in its order.
Upon which, Justice Khawaja said that the court had to act in accordance with the Constitution.
The attorney general, responding, said that he too was acting according to the Constitution.
Chief Justice Iftikhar said that the attorney general had not been issued a notice to appear for the hearing.
He further asked if the court would have to plead before the interior secretary for the latter to submit a response in the case.
Subsequently, the chief justice inquired of the attorney general as to why the government had not submitted a report on the matter.
Responding to which, the attorney general said that more people were being killed in Punjab than in Balochistan.
“Bring a case for Punjab before us and we will take a decision on it,” the chief justice said.
The bench reissued directives for the submission of the report and adjourned the hearing.