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Pak chief justice asks agencies to abolish 'death squads'

Publication Date : 28-09-2012

 

Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry yesterday said the "death squads" of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) agencies should be abolished.

The chief justice said during the hearing on the law and order situation in Balochistan, which was attended by Baloch nationalist leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal,who is a former chief minister of the province, DawnNews reported.

A three-member-bench headed by the chief justice resumed the hearing on a petition filed on the law and order situation in Balochistan, the TV channel reported.

The court adjourned the next hearing of the case until September 28.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said that the court had issued 60 orders during the 68 hearings on the case but no practical steps were taken.

The court also  told the chief secretary of the Balochistan to deliver Sardar Akhtar Mengal’s message to federal and provincial leadership and sought from him a written reply on the issue on the next hearing.

The chief justice further told the chief secretary to discuss the issue with the president, Director General (DG) of the ISI -- Pakistan's premier intelligence agency -- and DG  Military Intelligence (MI) and to inform the court in writing as to what steps are being taken to resolve the issue.

Furthermore, the chief justice said in his remarks that the missing persons would be recovered and that the court would go to any extent, if needed, to achieve the purpose.

All overt and covert operations must be put to an end and the displaced Baloch should be rehabilitated, added the chief justice in his remarks.

Chaudhry also said that First Information Reports  (FIRs) would be lodged against those held responsible and the cases would heard in the high courts rather than the lower courts.

Earlier, nationalist leader and former chief minister of Balochistan Sardar Akhtar Mengal appeared in the court to provide it with assistance on the issue.

The former chief minister told the court that the issue of missing persons is very critical in the province and the roots to the problem can be found in the 65-year political history of the province adding that every government deceived the people of Balochistan and the issue has gone beyond the control of agencies reaching foreign elements.

Sardar Mengal alleged that the agencies should be held responsible for the situation in Balochistan which was worse that the situation in Kashmir and Palestine.

He further said that he had appeared in the court only to discuss the missing persons issue adding that without the resolution of the missing persons issue the 65-year-old political issue cannot be resolved.

The nationalist leader said that the province had undergone five military operations and no one was answerable so as to what was the fault of the innocent victims. He also claimed that during the military rule every attempt was made to suppress the political voice of the Baloch people.

Mengal said that attempts are being made to eliminate the genuine leadership of the Baloch people replacing them with artificial leadership who were manufactured in factories and that  federal and provincial lawmakers never visited the rural areas of the province and remained confined to the ministerial secretariat.

The former chief minister further said that the nationalist leadership was being specifically targeted adding that the heirs of the late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti were not even allowed to attend his funeral.

Sardar Akhtar Mengal told the court that if an order was issued to rehabilitate the Baloch, displaced since 10 years, then that would be a step forward.

While giving his remarks, the chief justice said that the "death squads" of ISI and MI agencies should be abolished.

 

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