SC seeks report on Balochistan govt’s standing despite interim order | Pakistan Today

SC seeks report on Balochistan govt’s standing despite interim order

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a report from the federal government on how the Balochistan government was still operating despite the October 12 interim order by the apex court.
A three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain was hearing a petition regarding the Balochistan law and order filed by the Balochistan Bar Association.
The SC bench announced in its interim order that the Balochistan government had failed in maintaining the law and order and protecting the life and property of the people, which was the principal constitutional responsibility of any set up.
The court order also stated that the provincial government could no longer be allowed to remain a silent spectator and directed it to adopt appropriate measures to end the sense of deprivation amongst the people in the troubled province.
Expressing displeasure with the federal government’s lack of interest in the matter, the Supreme Court said there had been no fortnightly report regarding the law and order in the province from the interior secretary, as had been directed in the order.
The federal government had failed as it was not providing assistance per Article 148 (3) where the federal government could intervene to assist authorities.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir argued that a review petition had been filed against the interim order, arguing that while the crime ratio in Punjab was more than Balochistan, the court still remained worried about Balochistan.
Chief Justice Chaudhry said Balochistan hearing was currently underway and if the AG felt strongly about the matter, he could bring up Punjab’s case to court.
The CJ said the government of Balochistan had failed to enforce the constitution, adding that after the interim order, it could not continue to spend funds from the national exchequer.
“How is it [Balochistan government] still operating? It should have been dissolved,” the CJ said.
To the court’s direction, Balochistan Additional Advocate General Azam Khattak read out the interim order’s para 48.
AG Qadir argued that the government could not be dissolved as such, prompting Justice Jawwad S Khawaja to say that Qadir had no authority on this matter and the federal government should give an explanation.
The SC endorsed the decision of the high court regarding banned outfits involved in sectarian violence in Balochistan. It said the government was facing corruption allegations and it should take measures in this regard.
The hearing was later adjourned until November 2 after Khattak requested for it due to the ongoing cabinet meeting.

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