Govt, Army reject Akhtar Mengal's assertions
29 September, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The federal government and the armed forces in a joint statement to the Supreme Court on Friday rejected assertions of Baloch leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal, saying armed forces are neither conducting any military operation in Balochistan nor are there any death squads of intelligences agencies operating in the province.
The federation and the security agencies concerned submitted a joint rejoinder sought by the court after Akhtar Mengal, head of the Balochistan National Party (BNP), recorded his statement a day on Thursday a three-member bench which is hearing a case regarding the law and order situation in Balochistan.
The joint statement said no death squads of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) or Military Intelligence (MI) were operating in the province. Moreover, no missing person was in the custody of the secret agencies.
Balochistan Chief Secretary (CS) Babar Yaqub submitted the reply in the court. The court later adjourned the hearing until October 8. The next hearing will take place in Quetta Registry of the court.
The statement clearly mentioned that every political party in Balochistan was free to work.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir sought the court's permission to present the federation's reply.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry snubbed Qadir when he tried to comment on Mengal's statement. The CJP said, "Mengal's statement will not be discussed at all. Kindly use your political insight if you have any." Urging President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to acknowledge the gravity of the matter, Justice Chaudhry said Mengal's homecoming was a significant progress, adding, "It is high time Baloch people's grievances should be redressed and they are consoled."
Vowing that the court would make absolute use of its jurisdiction and powers, the CJP said, "The court has to work in tune with law and constitution. No one should have any doubt about court's powers and jurisdiction. Army is our own army. We will have to address Balochistan problem before we enter into a blind alley."
The Balochistan CS told the court contacts were made with the PM and heads of the ISI and MI with reference to statement given by Sardar Akhtar Mengal. A joint meeting of the defence minister, the army chief, the attorney general, the information minister and the ISI director general had taken place, he added.
The president, the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan and others would have to work to evolve a political solution to this problem, the CJP remarked.
Later, the court ordered the CS and the FC inspector general to file a report every week regarding missing persons and law and order situation in the province.