ISLAMABAD – In its review petition moved against the Supreme Court’s October 12 order in the Balochistan unrest case, the federation held Thursday it was not the function of the superior courts to gauge the performance of a political government. “Such a ruling is detrimental to the country and will serve as a licence or invitation to unseen avaricious forces,” the federation asserted in its plea. The apex court, in its October 12 interim order, ruled, “Unfortunately, in the instant case, the federal government, except deploying FC troops, has also failed to protect the province of Balochistan from internal disturbances.” Likewise, it added, as far as the provincial government was concerned, it had lost its constitutional authority to govern the province because of the violation of fundamental rights of the people (therein).”In its plea for a review, the federation insinuated that the judges of the superior courts, by virtue of their oaths read with their code of conduct, were under the constitutional obligation not to enter into political questions: even if these involved questions of law. “Getting involved with political questions constitutes misconduct under Article 5 of the Code of Conduct, issued after the reinstatement of the sitting chief justice. As such the aforesaid findings of this Court are without jurisdiction and the same need to be reviewed, keeping in view the Constitution, the law and principles of good conscience and fair play.” The federation noted that the apex court had just pointed out the ills, but did not explicitly suggest any remedy, as it was congnisant of the implications involved. It also claimed that the mineral deposits within the province had tempted big powers adding to the woes of the people. “The country is at war and poise is the demand of the hour,” it said and hoped that the court would adhere to the well-established principle of trichotomy of powers.” It further submitted, “The court assumed to itself the defunct powers of Article 58(2)(b), which in fact has been disregarded and discontinued by Parliament itself, in view of the amendments brought about by the Constitution in consequence of the 18th Amendment.” “It appears that while passing the impugned order, the Court was persuaded and inclined to revive the essence, letter and spirit of the 17th Amendment as regards the controversial powers of 58(2)(b) once available to the president of Pakistan.”Stating that it was Parliament or the federal government which should decide whether a situation had arisen in which it (the government) could not carry on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, the federation argued that the court had no constitutional mandate to attribute such powers to it. “Issues regarding the failure of any government as a whole with regard to its constitutional obligations qua governance are not justiciable in terms of the jurisdiction vested in the court under Article 175 of the Constitution.” the government added in its review petition. In went on to say, “It is thus clear that the Supreme Court impliedly wants the federal government either to take direct control of Balochistan or impose Governor’s rule. However, it is not within the constitutional domain or jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to force the federal government to impose such a course of action. Under the Constitution, the president of Pakistan is to decide such matters on the advice of the prime minister or in terms of Article 48 (2) of the Constitution.” It also mentioned that the order of the Supreme Court was half-hearted, as it was a reticent about what the federal government should do. Stating that a captain of a ship or aircraft knew the actual state of affairs and the crew or the inmates did not know exactly what the situation was, the federation argued that it was up to the president of Pakistan to decide under Article 232 of the Constitution that whether a particular situation called for the imposition of emergency. The federation stated that the Supreme Court based its order almost on two fundamental rights when there were about a total of 24 such basic rights. It, however, claimed that it had been trying its level best that these rights were not suspended.“The question is not what the federal government is doing. The question is what it is not doing to ameliorate the situation,” the federation asserted in its plea while claiming that it was fully alive to the situation. It also submitted that the functions of the armed forces were detailed in Article 245 of the Constitution. “The federal government is earnestly exerting to cure the situation through civil law-enforcement agencies, so that the jurisdiction of the superior courts under articles 184 and 199 remains intact so as to contribute to the betterment of situation.”It submitted that the executive felt shy of making proper postings and transfers of officers and placement of contingents of paramilitary forces and senior officers instead of attending to their actual job remained occupied or pro-occupied in tabulating and multiplications of events and seeking and preparing reports. “The feudal lords and influential persons have always their own axe to grind. They do not brook even smallest development in their area, but fan prejudices in the name of non-development. The Supreme Court is fully abreast of this paradoxical attitude of these feudals,” it affirmed while concluding, “Change can only come gradually with the lapse of time and the government alone cannot be blamed.”