QUETTA: Rejecting a progress report submitted by the government, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry said that peace in Balochistan cannot be restored unless the borders are not fenced and protected.
“Our neighboring countries have been working to fence their side of border, but we have left our porous borders open for the smuggling of weapons, which is main cause of the grim law and order situation in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Karachi,” remarked the chief justice.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, comprising the chief justice, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Sheikh Azmat Saeed, resumed hearing of a constitutional petition filed by President Balochistan High Court Bar Association President Zahoor Ahmed Shahwani on the lawlessness and security situation in Balochistan.
Expressing his dissatisfaction over steps taken so far to maintain peace in Balochistan, the chief justice said there was a dire need to enhance control on the borders and keep check on the infiltration of arms into the country.
Shahid Hamid, counsel for the Balochistan government, apprised the court about the steps taken by the provincial administration. To which the apex court bench remarked that progress so far made for bringing the situation under control appeared to be “only on paper”.
“The government is liable to provide protection to its citizen under Article 9 of the Constitution,” Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said. He added that people have gone missing and the authorities concerned have no clue about their whereabouts.
About the absence of IG Frontier Corps in the court, the chief justice also rejected the excuse of the FC representative as saying he must be contacted and asked to appear before court to explain the allegations leveled against personnel of his force regarding the ‘missing persons’ issue.
“We do not pass an order against the force, because it causes decline of the force’s morale whose men have rendered unprecedented sacrifices,” said the chief justice.
Local Government Polls
During the course of proceedings on Monday, the court also asked all the provincial governments to submit a written report about the progress made for holding local government elections.
The representatives of all four provinces briefed the court about their progress in holding the LG elections, after which the apex court directed the provinces to take steps for conducting Local Government polls.
The chief justice remarked that 80 percent problems faced by the people across the country would finish once the local bodies are restored.
A written reply in this connection must be submitted before court at the next hearing, the bench ordered.
Attack on Quaid Residency
Regarding airing of footage of an attack on the Quaid-e-Azam Residency in Ziarat by a private TV channel, the apex court directed the Counsel to ask the Chief Executive Officer of the channel to appear before the court on September 18.
Baz Mohammad Kakar contended that the CEO of the TV channel was in USA and could not come in within two days.
On the contention of his counsel, Justice Sheikh remarked that we have even called people from Dubai. He would have to appear in compliance with court orders.
Earlier, the chief justice had expressed resentment over the construction of a gate at Zarghoon Road and at the making of CM secretariat, Governor House Road, a no go area.
Instead of the CM and Governor, under Article 9 of the Constitution, an ordinary man should be provided protection, he stressed.
The court was subsequently adjourned until Tuesday, September 17.