PESHAWAR - The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered formation of a judicial commission to investigate 2014 terrorist attack on Army Public School Peshawar, where more than 150 people mostly students and teachers were killed.

On December 16, 2014 Taliban gunmen stormed the Army Public School in Peshawar. In the hours-long siege, more than 151 people were killed, 132 of them children. It was Pakistan’s deadliest ever militant assault that hardened public opinion against extremism and prompted a military-led crackdown.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar ordered the creation of the commission to address the grievances of parents who lost their children in the massacre.

Directing Chief Justice Peshawar High Court Yahya Afridi to form the judicial commission, the CJP instructed that a full report on the matter be compiled within two months.

The CJP passed the order while hearing a suo motu case in the Supreme Court’s Peshawar registry on the Peshawar High Court’s decision in February this year to dispose of a writ petition seeking the formation of a judicial commission to probe the attack.

The commission will comprise a three-member bench of the Peshawar High Court judges. Judges for the commission will be nominated later.

Separately, Justice Saqib Nisar ordered the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police to abolish all security checkposts from Peshawar within 24 hours.

“All security barriers and checkposts should be removed within next 24 hours and all blocked roads be re-opened to traffic,” Justice Saqib said.

The top judge then asked chief secretary to identify places and consulates where security presence was necessary. Security posts can be set up on court’s permission, he added.

Later, the chief justice visited the Central Jail Peshawar and expressed displeasure over the deplorable condition and poor facilities for inmates at the prison.

The chief justice visited various sections of the central jail and expressed anguish over the prison’s pathetic condition and inquired from prisoners about facilities especially health and food being provided to them in the prison. The chief justice summoned the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak after taking serious notice of poor facilities being offered to prisoners at the central prison.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar also visited the Psychiatric Hospital in Central Prison Peshawar and expressed anguish over the state of facilities being provided to patients.

The Inspector General (IG) Prisons Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa informed the chief justice that they would start shifting the prisoners to a new jail from next month and hence the problems of overcrowding and provision of basic facilities would be significantly addressed. The IG prisons made this statement after the chief justice expressed displeasure at the overcrowding of prisoners in the central prison of Peshawar.

During his visit, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Secretary Abid Majeed informed the chief justice that psychiatric hospital was under construction since 2012 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and work on the hospital had not been completed due to lack of funds.

The CJP inquired from the hospital administration if patients spend their days lying on beds or there were arrangements for them to pass their time outside in a relatively congenial atmosphere. He asked where patients were made to sit when they left their rooms. To this, the hospital administration replied that benches and chairs were arranged for patients when they come out of their wards for staying.

On April 20 last, the chief justice had visited Peshawar and ordered action against bogus and unauthorized clinics and quacks across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within a week. The CJP also expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial government in the social sector, including health, education and provision of potable water. 

He regretted that not a single quality hospital or school had been set up in the provincial capital by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government over the past five years.