SC seeks President, PM and Governor’s replies over steps taken to provide security to Hazara community

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the President, Prime Minister and the Balochistan Governor to file their replies by today Wednesday about the steps so far taken to provide security to the Hazara community in Balochistan.

A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, directed this while hearing a suo moto case pertaining to unabated killings of the Shia Hazara community in Quetta.

The court noted that the chief executive of the country should have gone himself to Quetta instead of sending a parliamentary delegation to listen to the demands of the victims of the Quetta bombing, who were staging a sit-in alongside 89 dead bodies of their loved ones.

The court expressed dissatisfaction over a report submitted by the Interior Secretary Khawaja Muhammad Siddique Akbar on behalf of Intelligence Bureau IB on the Kirani road carnage. The chief justice noted that the IB should do the other jobs other than taping the telephone of judges and chasing them. The court asked the Interior Secretary to further inquire how the tanker carrying 800 to 1,000 kilograms of explosive reached the site of the blast.

When Interior Secretary told the court that Inspector General of Balochistan had been suspended, the chief justice noted that now the court would have to ask the prime minister that why he was not accepting the responsibly now. Secretary Defence Asif Yasin also appeared before the court on notice.

During the hearing, the chief justice noted that the court would not order deployment of army in Quetta, as it was beyond its perimeters. He however noted that the federal and provincial governments had failed to overcome the incidents of gruesome incidents in Balochistan and hinted that the government had the authority to call army to control the burning province.

He said it was a great tragedy, which had paralyzed the country and inquired if this was the performance of the government. He said Article 9 of the constitution was not being followed and the government remained unmoved and inactive.

He recalled that such an incident had also occurred in Quetta a month ago and inquired from Balochistan Advocate General AG Amanullah Kinrani that how many accused were arrested in connection with it. Kanrani stated that since then only one action had been taken in which four suspects were killed.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the performance of government and law enforcing agencies, the court said that a cleanup operation should have been conducted till now after the previous attack at Quetta’s Alamdar Road. The chief justice noted that 89 people of Hazara community were killed in Saturday’s bombing and a similar explosion had occurred earlier as well, but the government did nothing. He observed that the government had badly failed to protect the life and property of people.

Advocate Tariq Asad, a petitioner, told the court that Article 245 of the Constitution should be enforced in the province. He said if we will continue to save the democracy, the lives will not save. The chief justice then said the court will only ask for protection of fundamental rights of the citizens.

He said calling the army was the job of government and the court would not pass any order in this regard. Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed maintained that the federal government was sleeping.

Deputy Attorney General DAG Shafi Chandio told the court that the federal government had dissolved the provincial government. “It was not the solution of the problem,”, the chief justice said. Terming the gruesome incidents a critical moment in the history of Pakistan, the chief justice said, “Thank God, no sectarianism has taken place in the country as the people are wise”, the chief justice said.

The court noted that the explosions were occurring in those areas where there was majority of Shia community. When Kinrani told the court that prime minister had ordered targeted operation in Quetta and arrest of the accused, the chief justice said the operation should be conducted and accused should be arrested. Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing for Wednesday today.