ISLAMABAD - Islamabad High Court Judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui yesterday recused himself from hearing a petition moved by the Shuhada Foundation of Pakistan Trust (SFPT), seeking directives to the government and the security forces not to kill suspected terrorists without due process of law.

The Shuhada Foundation of Pakistan Trust (SFPT) had also sought details of the 100 terrorists the security forces had claimed to have killed in the recent past after the fatal suicide bombings in various parts of the country.

Justice Siddiqui recused himself from hearing the matter, observing that he had been a counsel for Aziz and the SFPT, so he could not hear the petition. The judge sent the matter to IHC Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi for constituting a new bench.

The Foundation had moved the petition through its trustee, Ehtesham Ahmed, making interior and defence secretaries as respondents.

The counsel for the petitioner, Tariq Asad, had sought court directives to the respondents to provide complete details of the recently killed terrorists, mode of their killings and the place of encounters.

The petition had contended that on February 16, over 80 people were martyred in a suicide attack at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan. Following the incident, law-enforcement agencies of the federal government launched a crackdown and claimed that more than 100 terrorists were killed across the country.

The petitioner had stated that before the Sehwan incident, a suicide attack on The Mall in Lahore caused several casualties while scores of others were injured and the responsibility was claimed by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Ehtesham had argued the government had been claiming that all such terrorist activities were planned and orchestrated from Afghan soil. The Pakistani government even handed over a list of 76 terrorists to Kabul, but at the same time, security forces launched operations and claimed to have killed more than 100 terrorists.

In the petition, he had contended the respondents had no legal right to capture people without due process of law and take their lives in violation of their fundamental rights as guaranteed under Article 9 of the Constitution.

He had prayed to the court to direct the government through the respondents to stop the killing of the citizens without due process of law and also prevent the security forces from arresting the citizens without the due process of law.

He had also prayed to the court to direct the respondents to provide a list of those who were in their custody.