OUR STAFF REPORTER/ONLINE
ISLAMABAD - While hearing the Balochistan law and order case, the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday sought notification on the governor’s rule and held that the people who wanted the army in the province should also be heard.A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chuadhry and comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Azmat Saeed, was hearing the petition of the Balochistan High Court Bar Association on the worsening law and order situation in the province.Balochistan Advocate General Amanullah Kanrani told the bench that governor’s rule had been imposed in Balochistan on which the court sought a copy of the notification. The advocate general replied the notification had not been provided to him.The CJP remarked that the law-enforcing agencies were blaming each other for the deteriorating law and order situation. “Since day one the court has been raising the issue of basic rights in Balochistan, but the HR situation has not improved in the province nor is there any progress in the matter. The law-enforcement agencies are blaming each other while thousands of the missing people have not been recovered yet,” he regretted.Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry questioned why the perpetrators of Quetta and Mastung incidents had not been arrested yet. He reprimanded the advocate general and said the authorities concerned did not want to arrest those involved in such incidents.While adjourning the hearing of the case till January 29, the CJP sought a detailed report on the law and order situation in the province.The chief justice remarked that it was time to understand feelings of the general public and listen to their voice, saying the people wanted attention of the army to resolve their issues in the province. The CJP questioned why the law-enforcement agencies had not so far arrested the people involved in the killings of Mustung and Quetta. The court also sought a report over the steps taken to improve the worsening law and order situation in the province.The court was told that due to road blockage, Shahid Hamid, counsel for the Balochistan government, could not appear before the bench. The hearing of the case was adjourned till January 29.Earlier, on Sunday night, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf announced in front of a gathering of representatives of the Hazara Shia community that the provincial government was being dismissed forthwith and the governor’s rule being imposed in the entire Balochistan.The announcement was welcomed by thousands of Hazara Shias who had been staging a sit-in in the freezing cold on Alamdar Road for the last three days along with the bodies of dozens of people killed in bombings on January 10.Meanwhile, hearing removal of Balochistan Assembly Speaker Aslam Bhootani, the bench made it clear that the court never said the assembly could not run its business, but it had held the provincial government had failed to deliver and there was difference between business of the legislature and authority of the executive. The chief justice revealed the court could not give a verdict which was meant for creating panic in the country, adding the people sitting in the assemblies were representing their constituencies.Munir A Malik, representing the ex-provincial speaker, termed summoning of the Balochistan Assembly session unconstitutional, saying no constitutional procedure was adopted to call the session on December 19. He pleaded that seven days were required to summon the assembly session, but former chief minister Aslam Raisani got the no-trust move passed on the same day the assembly met.In another development, a constitutional petition was filed in the Supreme Court, praying to the court to direct the prime minister to call the armed forces in Balochistan for normalising the law and order situation. Tariq Asad advocate filed the petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, making the federal government, the interior minister, the Balochistan chief secretary and home secretary and the prime minister respondents.The petitioner argued that in view of the prevailing worst law and order situation in Balochistan, the prime minister should be directed to call the armed forces under Article 245 of the Constitution to help the civil administration until negative elements were eliminated and the law and order situation became normal.He submitted that the proclamation of the president under Article 234 to direct the governor to take the powers of the provincial government would not solve the problem in Quetta as the federal government was more responsible for political, economic, social and sectarian crises in the province.