SC seeks report on how Balochistan govt still operating after interim order | Pakistan Today

SC seeks report on how Balochistan govt still operating after interim order

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a report from the federal government on how the Balochistan government was still operating despite the October 12 interim order.
A three-member bench of apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain was hearing a petition on the Balochistan law and order situation filed by the Balochistan Bar Association.
The SC bench announced in its interim order that the Balochistan government had failed in maintaining the law and order situation and protecting the lives and properties of its people, which is the principal constitutional responsibility of any set-up.
The court order also stated that the provincial government could no longer be allowed to remain a silent spectator and directed it to adopt appropriate measures to end the sense of deprivation amongst people in the troubled province.
The Supreme Court, expressing displeasure at the federal government’s lack of interest in the matter, stated that there had been no fortnightly report regarding the law and order situation in the province from the interior secretary as had been directed in the order.
The federal government, the court said, had failed as it was not providing assistance as per Article 148 (3) of the Constitution where the federal government can intervene to assist authorities.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir argued that a review petition had been filed against the interim order, arguing that while the crime ratio in Punjab was more than Balochistan, the court remained worried about Balochistan.
In response, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that currently the Balochistan hearing was underway and if the AG felt so strongly about it, he could bring up the Punjab case in court.
The chief justice said that the government of Balochistan had failed to enforce the constitution, adding that after the interim order, it cannot continue to spend funds from the national exchequer.
“How is it [Balochistan government] still operating? It should have been dissolved,” he said.
On the court’s orders, Additional Advocate General Balochistan Azam Khattak read out the interim order’s para 48.
Irfan Qadir argued saying that the government cannot be dissolved like this, to which Justice Jawwad S Khawaja replied saying Qadir had no authority on this matter and the federal government should give an explanation.
The Supreme Court endorsed the decision of the High Court regarding banned outfits involved in sectarian violence in Balochistan. It said that the government was facing corruption allegations and it should take measures in this regard.
The hearing was adjourned till November 2 after Khattak requested for it due to a cabinet meeting underway.

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