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HCJP TAKES SUO MOTU NOTICE ON THE RECENT INCIDENTS OF BALOCHISTAN VIOLENCE

Dated: 10-August-2013

The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan has taken notice of the deteriorating law and order situation in Balochistan on a note of the Registrar on the recent incidents of violence occurred in the Province of Balochistan as these successive incidents of terrorism caused death of several innocent citizens as well as personnel of law enforcement agencies. The Hon’ble Chief Justice has directed that the case of law and order situation in Balochistan (Constitution Petition No. 77/2010 and other connected cases) pending before the Supreme Court of Pakistan be fixed for hearing on 15.8.2013 at Branch Registry Quetta alongwith the incidents of violence enumerated in the note of Registrar, which is reproduced below: -
 
Following the daring militant operation in Dera Ismail Khan prison leading to the release of reportedly 250 prisoners including hardcore militant convicts, the spate of terrorist incidents in the country has increased resulting in bloodshed and destruction. The security forces are on the high alert. The theater of violence has however, shifted to the Province of Balochistan, where (as reported in the daily “Dawn”, “The News”, “The Nation”, “Jang”, “Nawa-i-Waqat”, “Express” dated 07.08.2013 and 09.08.2013 as well as various news channels) during the last week or so the following three major incidents occurred resulting in killing of number of innocent citizens and the personnel of Law enforcement agencies:-
 
(a) On 06.08.2013 a violent incident took place near Machh Town in Bolan District when gunmen disguised as security personnel killed 11 civilians and two security men after kidnapping them from Punjab-bound passenger coaches. Reportedly about 200 armed men wearing uniform of Frontier Corps and Levies carried out the attack and lined up the passengers in the mountains before killing them. Most of the victims were Punjabi labourers. The coaches were coming from Quetta . The banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has claimed responsibility for the killings. The victims were going to their hometowns of Rahimyar Khan, Sadiqabad, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Multan to celebrate Eid with their families.
 
(b) On 08.08.2013 SHO Quetta City , Mohibullah was going to market with his children when unidentified assailants opened fire on him. The SHO sustained serious injuries, while his children were also wounded and were shifted to Civil Hospital where SHO succumbed to his injuries. On the same day another more violent incident took place in Quetta when a lone suicide bomber penetrated through a cordon placed around the Police Lines Quetta when at least 30 members of the Police force including DIG (Fayyay Ahmed Sumbal) and an SP were killed and sixty others injured. The incident took place at the funeral of SHO Mohibullah who had been gunned down in the City earlier in the day. The incident occurred when the entire place was sprawling with members of Quetta police as they had started to line up near the mosque for the funeral prayers.
 
(c) On 09.08.2013 another gruesome incident took place in Quetta when gunmen killed 10 people and wounded several others after opening fires outside a mosque on the outskirts of the Quetta City . Armed persons taking position outside the Jamai Farooqia Mosque opened indiscriminate fire targeting reportedly former Provincial Minister Ali Madad Jattak and his guard when they were leaving the mosque after offering Eid prayers, resulting in the death of 10 faithfuls including the former minister’s guard and wounded over thirty.  The former minister was unhurt in the firing incident while the accused escaped from the site. The deceased and injured were shifted to hospital where some of the injured are stated to be in critical condition.
 
2. All this presents a fairly scary and worrisome scenario. The writ of State/Government is undermined. The militant could strike at will and at places of choice. These incidents resulting in loss of human life including innocent citizens as well as personnel of law enforcement agencies have dampened the public spirit on the solemn occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. The Nation, more so the people of Balochistan are in a state of shock and the bewilderment. It appears that the militants/terrorists stop at nothing, have no respect for the sanctity for the holy month of Ramadan and the solemn Muslim Festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. All this warrants for action on the part of Supreme Court where the case of law & order situation in Balochistan (Constitution Petition No. 77 of 2010 and other connected cases) are pending and fixed for hearing before the Court on 15.08.2013 at Islamabad. Needless to say, besides the law and order situation and acts of violence, this case also covers the cases of missing persons in the Province of Balochistan .
 
3. In view of the above, HCJ may consider transferring the above cases to Branch Registry Quetta and   its hearing on the date fixed i.e. 15.08.2013 at Branch Registry Quetta where a Bench headed by the HCJ is currently hearing cases. It would also facilitate the parties to the case, most of whom belong to that Province.”
 
4. On perusal of the above note of the Registrar the Hon’ble Chief Justice has passed the following order:
It appears that the situation of Balochistan is deteriorating day by day and there is hardly any preventive action in sight to protect the citizens. The people are suffering acts of violence and are facing insecurity. The successive incidents of terrorisms caused death of several innocent persons. As the matter relates to the Province of Balochistan , therefore, the case be fixed before the Bench working at Branch Registry Quetta on 15.08.2013. Notice be issued to the Attorney General for Pakistan, Advocate General Government of Balochistan, Secretary Interior Government of Pakistan, Chief Secretary, Government of Balochistan, Home Secretary, Government of Balochistan, Inspector General of Police, Government of Balochistan and IG, FC Quetta to submit reports explaining the Government Policy to combat the incidents of violence/terrorism and to appear before the Court on 15.08.2013 at Branch Registry Quetta.
 
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