ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday took notice of a letter written by the Sindh High Court registrar to Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Court, with directives to provide a full protocol and security to an SHC judge and his family during their visit to GB.

Taking notice of the issue, the chief justice has sought an explanation from the SHC registrar as under what authority the letter had been written to the GB Chief Court for the provision of the protocol and security.

On June 2, the SHC registrar sent the letter to the GB Chief Court registrar for the protocol, security and VVIP room reservations for SHC Judge Mahmood A Khan and his family.

The letter, which begins with “Top Priority”, had been signed by SHC’s Secretary Protocol-II Abdul Aziz Channa, wherein it has mentioned that “all communications should be addressed on the Registrar High Court of Sindh Karachi and not to any official by name.”

“I am directed to inform that Mr. Justice Mahmood A. Khan, the Hon’ble Judge of this Court will reach Gilgit Baltistan via Rawalpindi along with family (07 members) by road on June 19, 2018, and will stay there up to July 02, 2018,” said the SHC registrar letter.

“It will be highly appreciated if the concerned officer is directed to reserve THREE (03) VIP SUITES at Judges Rest House along with TWO (02) OFFICIAL VEHICLES WITH DRIVERS for the Hon’ble Judge and his family members during their stay at Gilgit Baltistan. The Protocol Officer may also be directed to RECEIVE & SEE-OFF the ‘dignitaries’,” the letter further stated.

The letter also stated that “the action taken in this regard may be communicated to this office through Fax”.

The letter also contained the schedule of the visit date-wise. On June 21, “Gilgit to Hunza, Sust and Khunjrab top (night stay in Hunza Valley). On June 22, the judge will move from Hunza to Goharabad and then to Astor (night stay at Astor). On June 23, the judge along with his family will move from Astor to Minimerg via Chelum and Burzil top to Domel (night stay in Minimerg).”

Likewise, on June 24, “the judge with his family is scheduled to move from Minimerg to Skardu via Chelum Deosai (night stay at Skardu)”. On June 25, “Skardu to Khaplu of Ghanchey District and on June 26 the judge along with his family is scheduled to travel back to Skardu (night stay at Skardu)”.

As per the schedule, on June 27, “the judge and his family shall visit Gilgit via Haramosh and on 28 the ‘dignitaries’ will visit Naltar Valley”. Similarly, on June 29, “the judge with his family will travel from Gilgit to Chitral via Ghizer City”. The schedule states that “the judge with his family will travel from Chitral to Kafiristan/Kalash Vally on July 1 where they will stay at night”.

Since the letter was written by SHC registrar, the GB Chief Court registrar complied with the directions and written a follow-up letter addressing GB’s Home Secretary and Secretary Services on June 5.

“The Hon’ble Judge High Court of Sinh, Karachi (Mr. Justice Mahmood A. Khan) and his family (07 members) are visiting Gilgit-Baltistan by road,” the follow-up letter stated.

“Therefore, you are requested to kindly arrange official vehicles, reservation of 02 VVIP SUITE/THREE ROOMS  and necessary protocol facilities as per Schedule for the Hon’ble Judge during his visit to Gilgit-Baltistan from 20-060218 to 30-06-2018 at your earliest please,” the letter further added.

Neither SHC registrar’s letter nor the follow-up letter of the GB Chief Court registrar mention who will bear the expenses of the trip, the fuel cost of official vehicles and other facilities, if any.

Taking notice of the issue, the chief justice has sought an explanation from the SHC registrar and directed him to state under what authority the letter was written to GB Chief Court for the provision of the protocol and security.