LAHORE (MIAN DAWOOD) – Although a major segment of the legal community is not satisfied with the apex court’s interim decision on the Balochistan issue, it believes that fresh transparent elections in the province could help stem violence and extremism.
“The people of Pakistan were expecting a result-oriented verdict in view of the observations the bench – headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry – made during its nearly 80 hearings on the matter,” they say, adding that the proceedings proved to be a waste of time since the court was helpless constitutionally.
On Friday, the apex court ruled that the Balochistan government constitutionally failed to curb the incidents involving human rights violations, killings and kidnapping-for-ransom.
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Vice-President Jahanzaib Khan Jadoon says that general and local bodies’ elections were the only constitutional solution to the growing security problems. He opines that a significant increase in National Assembly seats for Balochistan might help improve the situation. “I think the apex court can’t do more than what it did,” he says, “The court can’t dissolve any assembly.”
Jadoon, however, points out that the apex court ignored many important sub-issues, including the abduction and killing of settlers, during the proceedings.
Ghulam Mustafa Buzdar, an executive member of the SCBA, who is not completely satisfied with the verdict, supports the constitutional way of local governments and general elections to end violence and problems facing Balochistan. “The apex court has given the verdict in the light of the Constitution,” he adds.
Advocate Zafarul Allah Khan says the apex court directed the federal government to take appropriate steps against the present situation in the province.
Barrister Khan says the Centre may ask the provincial government for holding local governments’ elections under Article 140-A of the Constitution that states, “Each province shall, by law, establish a local government system and devolve political, administrative and financial responsibility and authority to the elected representatives of the local governments.”
President SCBA Muhammad Yaseen Azad says that free and fair general and local governments’ elections could end administrative and security issues in Balochistan, adding that Baloch leaders should be part of these elections and there should be no involvement of intelligence agencies.