ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Friday directed Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Khushnood Lashari to hold a meeting with the interior and defence secretaries and present a clear position on the three basic issues confronting Balochistan that are: timeframe about recovery of missing persons, incidents of abduction for ransom and recovery of mutilated bodies.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar - also comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain - was hearing the petition of former president of Balochistan High Court Bar Association Shakeel Hadi over the disappearances and human rights violations in the province. Chief Minister Balochistan Aslam Raisani was also present in the court during the hearing.
The court expressed displeasure over the absence of Inspector General Frontier Corps Balochistan Maj-Gen Obaidullah Khattak, Attorney General Irfan Qadir and Secretary Defence Nargis Sethi.
Raja Irshad, counsel for the agencies, said the IG FC was on visit to Iran, on which the chief justice expressing displeasure said: “Khattak should be directed to return immediately.”
The court also turned down his request for more time for a reply on the issue. About attorney general’s absence, the chief justice remarked: “Why the attorney general shouldn’t be replaced?”
The chief Justice observed the three persons were picked up in Balochistan during the hearing and later their bodies had been found.
“What else could be a gross violation of the law that those men about whom the authorities had been ordered to recover have been killed?”
The bench inquired from Balochistan Police IG Rao Amin Hashim about the steps taken after the bodies of three missing persons were found. The IGP told the court that a case had been registered.
The chief justice said the authorities should produce those responsible for the situation or IG FC Balochistan Khattak would be held responsible. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked: “There is also a possibility that a few rogue elements in the FC are working on the behest of enemies.”
The chief justice observed, “It seems that common men of the province and security agencies are in confrontation with each other.” He referred the statement of provincial minister Mir Sadiq Ali Umrani, who had said that the FC was involved in the killing of people.
Justice Khilji remarked that he could not sleep on hearing about the death of three missing men and whether certain elements were trying to intimidate the court. The honourable judge said nobody could be given licence to kill innocent people. Justice Jawwad Khawaja remarked that the prime role of FC was to assist police and not to lead them.
Advocate Raza Kazim, who appeared in a related case, asked the court it was not a simple contempt of court case but it was clear subversion of the Constitution and the court should issue notices to relevant authorities under Article 6 that deals with high treason issue. The court in its order stated, “We incorporated Kazim’s arguments in our order but we are showing restraint; we are not passing any order in this regard.”
The court asked the defence secretary to collect statements of provincial ministers regarding involvement of FC and provincial ministers in illegal activities. However, rejected a report submitted by the representative of the Ministry of Defence.
The court also expressed dissatisfaction over the Sindh Police report regarding Mir Bakhtiar Domki’s wife and daughter murder. The court adjourned the hearing till June 4.