Court: SC directs restoration of civilian rule in Dera Bugti
(Daily Patriot (Pakistan) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A threemember Supreme Court bench on Friday directed the government to restore civilian rule in Dera Bugti and take solid steps to avoid any chaos during the upcoming general election in Balochistan.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed was hearing a matter pertaining to implementation of apex court orders in the Balochistan unrest case.
The court noted that if forced tactics were used in Balochistan ahead of elections, it could lead to an irreparable loss. The chief justice said that the court had never favor or validated the governor rule in Balochistan which indicated that the court was in favor of democratic system.
The CJ observed that the people would have to be unarmed to save Balochistan. The court regretted that it was the compulsion in the political system to compromise. He said everyone was complaining that instead of civilian rule, there was the rule of FC in Dera Bugti.
The court expected that the situation of the province could be improved after the election of their real representative. The chief justice noted that the unrest was limited to eight to ten districts of the province.
Deputy Inspector General DIG Balochistan police, Muhammad Saleem Lehri told the court that unregistered Subscriber Identification Modules SIMs were being used to create more trouble in the province.
He selling and usage of illegal and unregistered SIMs, the DIG claimed that the situation in Balochistan was such that on any given day, more than 700 SIMs were being registered by the trouble makers. He said more than 700 SIMs had been issued on one name.
To a court query, he said although the name of mother of the subscriber should be registered on the prescribed form of SIMs’ sale along with the National Identity Card to avert illegal sale, however he said the tribal people contend that they cannot divulge the names of their mothers as it was against their traditions.
He said illegal SIMs were being used to incite sectarian violence, targeted killings, terror activities and kidnappings across the country. He said militants were also using these SIMs for coordinating with each others. The court ordered the cellular phone companies to take urgent corrective measures to ensure that SIMs were only sold through responsible means.
The court directed these companies to take strict actions to curb the illegal usage of SIMs and mobile phone services in general.
Raza Kazim, counsel for the telecom operators, stated that implementation of these court orders would adversely affect these companies and their business. He said due to earlier decision of the court over selling of SIMs, the business of telecom operators was adversely affecting.
The chief justice noted that the court’s May 21, 2012 order relating to the sale of mobile phone SIMs was issued after meeting with all the stakeholders including the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority PTA, which was the main regulator. Later the court adjourned the hearing till March 6.
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