QUETTA – Being unable to satisfy the judges during hearing of a case about missing persons in Balochistan, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Malik Sikander walked out of court and later submitted his resignation, only to return as a lawyer.
Displeased with the non-appearance of the defence secretary, interior secretary and the prime minister’s principal secretary, the apex court asked the DAG whether they had been presented with the court’s order or not. The DAG said neither he nor the institutions concerned did receive the copies of the orders.
Addressing Sikander, Justice Khilji said: “You think that the problems of 17 crore people would be solved by 17 judges… why are others not fulfilling their responsibilities?”
Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who was heading the three member bench, said: “We do not want lip service... we want the orders to be implemented.” He told the DAG “you people meet your children everyday but don’t think of the children who have not seen their fathers and sons for months and years”.
Sikander did not respond to the court’s questions. Being dissatisfied with him, the chief justice ordered the DAG to give a written statement to the court, stating that he was unable to satisfy the court’s orders. The deputy AG requested the court to give him some time, at least a day, but the court refused. He walked out saying he would return in five minutes as ‘advocate’ instead of ‘deputy attorney general’. “I have the right to live my life with respect,” said the deputy AG. “That is why I am resigning and appearing in court as a common lawyer.” The court did not comment on his behaviour.
Expressing annoyance over the absence of the three federal secretaries, the CJ however remarked that action would be taken against them if they failed to follow the court’s orders. He observed that federal government was not showing interest in the case while 80 per cent of cases were reported against the Frontier Corps (FC).
Justice Khilji Arif Hussain remarked that keeping in view the security situation of the province it was the responsibility of the federal government to appoint most legible and efficient officials in Balochistan rather transferring the sitting proficient officers to other provinces. He said that judiciary was doing extra duty to lessen the tension in Balochistan.
Chief Secretary to Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani, Hafiz Abdul Basit appeared before the bench. The chief justice said the chief minister should have appeared before the bench himself. By this time Raisani should have sacked six ministers from the Balochistan cabinet, he added.
Advocate General Balochistan informed that court that late Monday night someone informed him that court cancelled its order. “The court will not cancel any order in chamber. It was the dark history that decisions were taken in chambers,” Justice Javed S Khwaja told the Advocate General. “The Deputy Attorney General should have answered the questions,” court observed.
Chief Justice said court is working to save the province and end the miseries of families of missing persons waiting outside the court. “They all are suffering and court will not sit silence. The concerned institutions should have respected the court orders.”
“We want to save Balochistan... the law and order situation in the province is alarming and kidnappings and targeted killings are still going on,” Justice Iftikhar said. “If the missing persons issue is resolved then 60 percent of Balochistan’s problems would be solved.” The police have failed to apprehend a single suspect in these incidents, he said, adding that serious allegations were continually being made against the Frontier Corps (FC) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) but the federal government was not taking any interest, the chief justice remarked.
FC DIG Brigadier Farrukh Shahzad appeared before the bench and said that efforts were underway to recover the missing persons. He said FC is a fighting force and responsible for protecting people. “FC is making utmost efforts for the recovery of missing persons and cooperating with the police,” he said. FC has set up an investigation cell in Quetta and was in touch with ISI, MI and IB, he added.
Chief Justice said court had felt that despite the critical situation, constitutional heads have failed to take any step to ensure the implementation of law. He said despite the deployment of FC, police and Balochistan Levies, targeted killings and kidnappings are frequently taking place. Establishment Deputy Secretary Akhtar Aziz appeared before the court and said four police officers have so far joined their duties in Balochistan while 11 police officers did not report in the province. Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad said two police officers belonged to Traffic Police while one is disabled.
The court ordered authorities to produce before it today (Wednesday) two men who had gone missing from Quetta’s Sariab Road. The bench summoned Head of National Crisis Management Cell Brigadier Javed Iqbal to appear before the court regarding the case of missing Hafiz Saeedur Rehman, who is missing since 2003. The court once again summoned Balochistan home minister to appear before the court in a case of missing person Hassan Mengal. The CJ also directed Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to present today details of the SIMs issued by the authority in the province.