Apt order to be passed in Quetta blast case: SC

ISLAMABAD – Disposing of all applications in the Quetta blast case, the Supreme Court on Monday said it would soon pass an appropriate order in the case.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, heard a suo motu notice of the killings of lawyers in the bomb blast at Civil Hospital, Quetta, on August 8, 2016. In this tragic incident, some 73 people, majority of whom was lawyers, lost their lives and over 104 sustained serious injuries.

Former Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali had taken a suo motu notice under Article 184(3) of the Constitution and had set up a one-judge inquiry commission.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa, after probing the matter for 56 days, prepared a 110-page report which slammed the then federal interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and the chief minister as well as home minister of Balochistan for providing misleading information on the Quetta blast.

Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf stated that on careful consideration of the inquiry commission report, the federal government, the ministry of interior and all the divisions will seek guidance from the contents and recommendations made by Justice Qazi Faez Isa in the report.

He said the government has already allocated budgetary and human resources for countering all forms of terrorism in the country. “Not only the recommendations of the commission are under contemplation but also the federal government is going beyond the recommendations and has deployed a satellite system, safe city project and the geo-fencing to unearth the terrorist networks,” the attorney general said. The counter-terrorism is one-stop shop as the process can be addressed by making coordinated efforts for which the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) will be working more effectively under the guidance of the cabinet. He said the federal government took steps to reform madaris and eliminate terrorism.

Upon that Justice Dost Muhammad questioned whether the government cannot construct schools where madaris exist. He said the court is aware of what is happening in the country and what the customs officials are doing on the borders. He said Iranian oil tankers from Taftan are impounded when they reach Hyderabad.

Justice Dost said 1,700 check posts have been set up along the Pak-Afghan border, but still smuggling is going on. He said Landi Kotal was fenced, but when a delegation of lawyers, on the direction of the court, visited Chaman and Torkham borders, they found people coming and going out of the country without any check and documents.

The judge said drug smuggling is oxygen for terrorism, adding if the smuggling is controlled, terrorism will be eliminated.

Justice Khosa said it seems the government does not like to implement the commission’s report as the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) has failed to implement the commission’s recommendations.

The attorney general said the Nacta is a national institution and will implement the commission’s report. He said all the provinces are connected with the Nacta. He averred finger identification system is introduced at Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa borders. He affirmed the system has been developed for tracing the financial link of terrorists. The plan has also been prepared to monitor traffic in the border areas.

Meanwhile, Liaquat Hazara, chairman, Hazara Community, informed the court about the plight of Hazaras. He said 400,000 out of 600,000 people belonging to the Hazara community had left the country owing to violence.

Justice Khosa said the Hazara community has been subjected to the worst kind of violence. Justice Dost said there are multiple invisible enemies of the country. They have now changed the shape and are also targeting people in Parachinar to spark sectarian violence in the country, Khosa said, adding Hazaras are a soft target in Balochistan while the whole nation feels pain of Hazaras’ miseries.

Liaquat told the court if the terror network involved in attacking lawyers in Quetta can be busted, why those involved in the killings of Hazara community members cannot be arrested. “The movement of Hazaras has been curtailed as our people can’t leave their homes,” he said and requested the bench to constitute a commission like that on the Quetta blast.

Earlier, the KP additional advocate general said the provincial government has paid Rs 500,000 to the family of each lawyer killed in the bomb blast at Mardan Judicial Complex and Rs 200,000 to each injured. The District Courts Mardan president said the KP government had paid Rs 2.5 million to each family of those killed in the APS tragic incident in Peshawar. He demanded payment of the same amount to the families of the lawyers killed in the district court’s blast.


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