LAHORE - Punjab Home Department on Tuesday told the Lahore High Court that the activities of Jamatud Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, if released, would cause security threat to public safety and challenge public order.

An official submitted a written report to the court of  Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi in a petition moved by Saeed and his four aides against Punjab government for issuing fresh detention orders.

The report said Saeed had launched his political party though he was put under house arrest while a number of cases were also registered against his Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation.

It further stated that Additional Home Secretary Azam Suleman personally heard the representatives of Counter Terrorism Department, other law enforcement agencies and the JuD leader before dismissing the representation of JuD.

It raid: “Hafiz Saeed and other leaders of Jamatud Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniat were put under detention to bar them from collecting funds for these organisations. But the organisations of the detainees continued collection of funds and 23 cases had been registered against the FIF.

“Milli Muslim League, the political party of Hafiz Saeed, yet was not registered with Election Commission of Pakistan. But it has fielded a candidate for by-election of NA-120 which is due on Sept 17. There are strong apprehensions that if JuD chief is released, the law and order would be at stake and public safety would be under threat.” Advocate A K Dogar, the counsel of the petitioners, however, sought time to go through the home department’s report. Justice Naqvi accepted the plea and adjourned further hearing until Sept 19. 

Pleas for Model Town

inquiry report deferred

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday deferred until September 19 proceedings on petition seeking directives for the provincial government to release Model Town’s incident inquiry report.

Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi took up the matter moved by 20 victim families of Model Town incident.

At least 14 people had died while 100 others injured during a clash between police and Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s workers in Model Town in 2014.

The petitioners, through their counsel Azhar Siddique and Barrister Ali Zafar, submitted that the government did not release inquiry report of Model Town incident which was conducted by Justice Ali Baqar Najfi.

They said they approached the Home department but could not get it. The petitioners maintained that it was violation of the fundamental rights as Article 19(A) of the Constitution ensured fundamental right of every citizen to have access to information in all matters of public interest.

They stated that releasing of the inquiry report was a matter of public interest and the Punjab home secretary was bound under the law to give the required information to the petitioners. They asserted that this was a case of enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed to the petitioners and to all the members of the public.

The petitoners also submitted that this report, whether right or wrong, or whatever its evidentiary value, was a report of a judicial commission on a very important matter, and accordingly everybody in Pakistan has the right to know what is stated by the inquiry judge.

The government could not use official powers to stop the publication of the inquiry report as it would be blatant disregard of constitutional provisions and refusal to provide fundamental right of access to information by the government smacks of malafide and is patently illegal, they argued.

They also said that the provincial government has been assuming, wrongly and illegally, that only the government has the right on the report. They pointed out that the inquiry report was held by the government for the benefit of the citizens and every individual has the right to access it.

The petitioners pleaded that the public bodies could not hold any public information on their own behalf, but rather they hold it for the benefit of all members of the public. They requested the court to order the government to release that report so that everybody could know the truth.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 13-Sep-2017 here.