CJ tells IG to produce the missing seven today
QUETTA: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry ordered Balochistan police on Thursday to produce before the court on Friday seven people picked up from Quetta’s Sariab Road area on March 1. If it was not done, he warned, the police chief and other officers concerned would be suspended.
The chief justice also ordered the home secretary to arrest three provincial ministers involved in incidents of kidnapping for ransom.
The chief justice issued the orders while hearing at the Quetta registry of the apex court a petition on the law and order situation and human rights violations in the province. The petition was filed by Advocate Hadi Shakeel, former president of the Balochistan High Court Bar Association.
Justice Iftikhar expressed anger over absence of Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq and asked why he went to Islamabad for attending the memo commission’s proceedings. “Is the Supreme Court hearing on the missing persons important or the memo scandal case?” he asked. He said the attorney general must attend the court hearing on Friday to respond to allegations levelled against the Frontier Corps by some members of the Balochistan assembly.
The chief justice asked Balochistan IG Rao Amin Hashim and other senior officers present in the court who had picked up the seven people and ordered that they must be brought to court on Friday.
Nasrullah Baloch, chairman of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, informed the court that 10 Baloch people had been picked up from the Sariab Road area on March 1, but three of them were later set free. The whereabouts of the remaining seven were not known, he added.
Home Secretary Nasibullah Bazai informed the court that over the past two years bodies of 349 missing people were found in different areas of Balochistan, but no FIR had been registered against kidnappers.
The chief justice asked the home secretary and the IG to register FIRs and bring the accused to justice. He ordered Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad to pay compensation to the families of the victims.
Nasrullah Baloch said the families wanted recovery of their loved ones, not compensation.
“Whether someone wants it or not, pay compensation to every family,” Justice Iftikhar told the chief secretary. He said people belonging to almost all ethnic groups — Baloch, Pashtoons, Saraikis and settlers — were being targeted in Balochistan. “Enough is enough.”
He asked the home secretary to admit that the government had completely failed to protect the lives and property of people.
Nasibuulah Bazai submitted a statement by provincial Home Minister Mir Zafarullah Zehri accusing three provincial ministers of being involved in kidnapping for ransom.
“The ministers involved in kidnapping for ransom must be arrested,” the chief justice said in his order. Referring to a statement by provincial minister Mir Sadiq Ali Umrani that
Frontier Corps personnel were involved in the killing of two people in Luckpass area of Mastung district, he directed Deputy AG Malik Sikandar Khan to ask the FC to clarify its position.
The chief justice expressed his displeasure over the performance of police in the province and regretted that half of the police force was on leave. He said police had failed to investigate 95 per cent cases. “Police can deliver in a batter way if they desire to do so. And if they are not willing the situation cannot be improved,” Justice Iftikhar said, adding that
no areas, including Pishin and Mastung, were safe.
He said that many issues could be resolved by holding local government elections. He directed the chief secretaries of the four provinces to submit reports through the attorney general on Friday about why local bodies’ elections were not being held.
The chief justice was displeased by non-submission of a report by the Sindh IG on progress in the murder case of members of the Domki family and asked him to appear before the court on Friday.