QUETTA - The Supreme Court has said that it cannot compromise on the issue of Balochistan security and therefore it will summon the provincial governor and ask him to take care of the worsening situation.

A three-judge bench hearing a Balochistan Bar Association petition on the law and order in the province directed the Balochistan government to file a final response over the missing persons’ issue today (Thursday) and issued summons for the federal interior and defence secretaries to appear for today’s hearing.

Heading the bench, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry told the Inspector General of Frontier Corps and Balochistan chief secretary to admit that they have failed. Addressing the chief secretary, he said the government should give in black and white that it has failed to recover the missing persons and could not provide protection to the people and their property.

“Such incidents in Balochistan were tarnishing the image of Pakistan in the world community,” the chief justice said, adding that they would not tolerate violation of constitution and law at all. He said Quetta has become a war zone as there was no writ of government and “we are sitting on a volcano which can explode anytime”.

The court said if the government would not recover missing people, it would call governor Balochistan because he is the constitutional head of the province. “We will tell him that constitution and law is not being implemented in your province. If you people say Supreme Court should not work here for the restoration of constitution and law then we will go but Supreme Court will never tolerate violation of constitution and law,” the CJ remarked.

During the hearing, Kamran Murtaza advocate who was assisting the court informed that a delegation of United Nations (UN) is visiting Pakistan in connection with the missing persons issue. At this, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain said that it was “dangerous for our sovereignty that people from outside are coming to observe our affairs”.

The CJ said that now UN had also taken notice of the issue of killing of members of Hazara community. Members of both Shia and Sunni sects were being targeted killed, he said, asking: “Who ignited this fire in Balochistan.”

Addressing IGFC Balochistan Major-General Obaidullah Kattak, the court said that they had a lot of expectation from them that progress would be made in missing persons’ case “but your force had been failed in this regard”. The CJ remarked: “I would have taken action if I knew somebody in my department was involved in any wrongdoing.”

Citing kidnapping of a boy, IGFC said that FC carried out seven raids for his recovery but now it had been learned that he had been shifted to Afghanistan. He said that most of cases against FC were aimed at defaming the force because those people who were deteriorating the law and order wanted that this force should be discredited. He said that there were more than 100 websites working against FC.

Upon this, the chief justice asked if such attempts were not made against the judiciary. “Allegations are levelled on us on Facebook and Twitter but we don’t care; rather, we have maintained supremacy of law and constitution, and it will have to be restored,” he added.

The chief secretary said that since the apex court started hearing this case, there was improvement regarding other aspects of the situation, however, most of the killings which occurred during past six months were related to sectarianism. “Do you know what a bad name such incidents earn to the country,” the CJ asked.

Advocate General Amanullah Kanrani apprised the bench that the situation had become grave not only in Balochistan but the whole country. But he said that the situation was improving in Balochistan now as those settlers who had migrated from the province were returning. IGFC said that FC was taking action against smuggled vehicles plying on the roads but it was later stopped from doing so.

About the arms licenses, the advocate general said the provincial government was not issuing these but it cannot stop those who were issuing the licenses. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain remarked that if someone had written letter using Balochistan government letter paid in which permission of arm license had been issued then “show us that”.

When Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir came in the court, he said he had learned that the court was annoyed at him. At this the judges of bench remarked that they were not annoyed but they had to pass orders when they did not have any response from him.

Attorney General said: “I read the newspapers; there are statements against me”. Justices Jawwad S Khawja said, “We can’t say anything about the newspapers because the media is free.” Irfan said the bench could not direct him but “if you people wish, I will come.” Justice Jawwad S Kawaja told him to read the order with cool mind.

Admit your failure, SC asks government