QUETTA –Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Friday said that no federal or provincial authority seems to be interested in Balochistan peace, declaring the court will now use constitutional options.

The chief justice, who was heading a three-member SC bench hearing the Balochistan law and order case, also expressed annoyance over non appearance of intelligence agencies’ sector heads in the court and directed the police to produce all missing persons in two weeks. The number of the missing has risen to at least 115 as per court record.

Deputy Attorney General Malik Sikandar told the bench that officers of intelligence agencies could not appear in the court because they were not present in Quetta. The chief justice remarked if the IG Police can appear before the court then why not the sector incharges of intelligence agencies. “We are not sitting here to hear tales. The province is burning, and the fire should be extinguished,” the chief justice observed, adding that a dangerous trend of violating law and constitution has developed in the province.

The bench said orders were issued in previous hearings to president, prime minister, defence secretary, Balochistan chief minister and home secretary but there was no response. “It has become difficult to understand to whom we should ask to pay serious attention on Balochistan’s deteriorating situation since no one appears sincere.”

Criticising Chief Minister Aslam Raisani, Justice Chaudhry remarked that CM minister has no interest in restoring peace in the province. The chief justice said that the court wanted the matter to be resolved peacefully but now it will issue orders. The apex court will show its report to the governor of the province, he added.

Earlier the court had directed police and the FC on Thursday to produce missing persons on Friday and also directed provincial Home Minister Mir Zafarullah Zehri to appear before it on Friday. Otherwise, it warned, a case would be registered against him for having lied about the involvement of some provincial ministers in kidnapping for ransom. On Wednesday, the chief justice had ordered the chief minister, home minister and sector in-charge of the ISI to appear before the court on Thursday, but none of them turned up.

Lawyers have prepared another list of 45 missing persons and submitted it to the Supreme Court. Interior Minister Rehman Malik had claimed that there were merely 47 missing persons in Balochistan and that some of them have gone to Afghanistan for fighting along with Taliban and others were working in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

“Now we have around 115 cases of missing persons and we have to resolve this issue but it is regrettable that there has been no encouraging result since we started hearing in Quetta,” chief justice told the police, adding that the court have options and will proceed according to constitution. He remarked that senior police officials were not showing courage to unveil those behind the forced disappearances.

Barori SHO Ameer Muhammad Dasti broke into tears in the court, saying, “We police personnel are receiving threats to our lives and are being pressured”. He said one of their senior officials was also picked up by people of powerful institution. “Even they snatched a prisoner from me in the court premises,” he disclosed. “I am so frightened that it’s better for me to go to the jail rather than going out.”

The CJ said court acknowledges the fact there is pressure on police but it is unacceptable that people were being killed and kidnapped despite patrolling of police and Frontier Corps (FC). “God will soon throw stones upon us as we see that even children are not being spared and are being subjected to forced disappearances,” he remarked when a woman said her 12-year-old son was arrested by police in a case of targeted killing and kidnapping for ransom. She said her son was later listed as missing.

Police submitted the copies of FIRs in which FC Major and Colonel were nominated for abducting two persons from Khuzdar and Wadh. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain said earlier people were merely leveling allegations against security forces but now majors and colonels were being nominated in FIRs.

On the alleged involvement of provincial ministers in kidnappings, the chief justice said IGP has informed the court that police have arrested a big gang from Khuzdar and the criminals were being interrogated; thus the court was waiting for the police probe to complete. “If court can pass orders against security agencies then why it cannot move against provincial minister,” he said.

Meanwhile, three persons who went missing from Marwar area of Quetta reached home late Thursday night, thanks to the pressure being exerted by the apex court. But they could not be produced in the court on Friday owing to their poor health condition.

Spokesman for Baloch missing persons, Nasrullah Baloch and a petitioner in the case said that Muhammad Karim, Safar Khan and Dawa Khan unexpectedly reached home late Thursday night. The three persons went missing on April 11 from Marwar. The relatives informed the court that they were in the custody of Frontier Corps. They requested the court to recover the remaining four missing persons who were picked up from Marwar by the FC men. The chief justice ordered that FC be contacted and the missing persons be recovered.

Testimonies of the families of at least 28 missing people were recorded. Court directed the home secretary and IGP to inform the court about the whereabouts of Baloch Students Organisation leader Zakar Majeed. Court issued notices former CCPO Abid Notkani and former DIG operations Shahid Nizam Durrani and sought reply in the case of Shabir Sumalani, who has been missing since 2009. Mother of Shabir Sumalani said her son was whisked away by a group of armed men soon after he was released from Brewery Police station. The court summoned the SHO and asked him to produce him within two weeks or submit a progress report.

Justice Chaudhry ordered the IGP to present the lawyer who went missing from Khuzdar, Muneer Meerwani and Dr Akbar, who went missing from Saryab, within two weeks. Advocate General informed the court that Dr Akbar was not recovered but his five years salary, Rs30 million, was released to his family. However, the sister of Dr Akbar said she wanted her brother, not his salaries. The chief justice told her that the salary was her right, and not a favour, and efforts were being made to resolve her brother’s case.

Balochistan Advocate General said some evidence has been found in the case of two persons who went missing from Mastung, including Abdul Wahid, which could help resolve cases of 10 more missing persons. But he said he cannot disclose it in the open since it was related to national security. The court accepted the request and told him to provide the information in the chamber. The hearing lasted for 15 hours and later the bench adjourned the case for two weeks.

SC orders recovery of missing in two weeks