‘SC won’t let Quetta bombing case be buried’

  • Supreme Court questions Balochistan govt for lack of progress

The Supreme Court on Wednesday questioned the provincial government of Balochistan for the lack of progress in the bombing case of Quetta where more than 70 people – mostly lawyers – were killed and as many as 112 injured when a powerful explosion ripped through the Civil Hospital on August 8, 2016.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa-led three-member bench expressed anger over the lack of implementation of the recommendations submitted by the apex court’s commission over the Quetta attack. On the day, lawyers in numbers had gathered at the hospital after a senior lawyer was brought there following a targeted attack.

“Such a big incident occurred and yet no one has done anything about it,” Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked. The bench remarked that the only one operation room was functional out of 13 at the Civil Hospital. “What do you mean you tried your best? Why is this line always repeated,” Justice Gulzar said while addressing the Balochistan government’s counsel.

“We won’t let this case be buried,” Justice Khosa said. Assuring their commitment to improving the situation, a Balochistan police representative said that the police were ready to implement the recommendations of the Quetta commission, headed by Justice Qazi Faez Esa, which gave its report in December 2016. “We won’t let Balochistan government off the hook till the injured get some relief,” Justice Khosa observed.

The court ruled that the trauma centre of the Sandeman Civil Hospital in Quetta should be opened immediately. The hospital should be upgraded soon and more doctors should be hired and wounded given proper treatment, it stressed. To this, Balochistan special secretary said that the provincial government has issued a notification to the trauma centre.

Reacting to this, Justice Khosa remarked the institutions don’t work just by issuing notifications. “The government is also responsible for ensuring that doctors are present at the hospital.” In-charge doctor of the Trauma Centre stated that some new doctors have been hired but they have not reported it as yet.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Aitzaz Goraya also informed the court that five terrorists involved in the incident have been killed, one is under arrest, while search for two fugitives is ongoing. The bench ordered for a detailed report on whether all the recommendations of the commission have been implemented or not.

The report should also mention if the families of those injured or martyred have been given a plot as promised or not, and whether someone from the martyrs’ families has been given a government job. The court has adjourned the hearing till September 12, asking the relevant departments to deliver on promises made after the tragedy.