ISLAMABAD - Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday took notice of the life threats to slain Perveen Rehman’s sister and Director Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) Anwar Rashid.

The top court directed the federal and Sindh governments to trace those giving threats.

The notice is taken during hearing of the case regarding Perveen Rehman murder case. The social worker Perveen Rehman, who had devoted her life to the development of the impoverished neighbourhoods, was gunned down near her Orangi Town office on March 13, 2013.

During the hearing, the bench was informed that sister of slain Perveen Rehman and current director of OPP are receiving threatening calls.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed was hearing the case. Justice Saeed remarked that it appears that foreign telephone number is being used to issue threats. He further remarked that though a foreign telephone number is being used but there is possibility that the person making threatening calls is Pakistani.

During the course of hearing, Interior Ministry’s Additional Secretary Dr. Tariq informed the bench that the cabinet has approved the constitution of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) for re-investigating the murder.

He further informed the bench that a notification in this regard will be issued in few days. Following this, the bench adjourned the hearing of the case for two weeks.

Earlier, an anti-terrorism court in Karachi had dismissed request of Perveen Rehman to summon the members of each of the earlier three joint investigation teams (JITs) formed to probe the murder.

She through her counsel had contended that the JIT members were important witnesses since they had detained and probed the alleged accused persons.

In December last year, Justice Saeed of top court, while hearing the case, had noted that malafide of the Sindh police spoiled the whole case as according to additional attorney general there were proofs that efforts were made to hush up the matter.

Perveen Rehman, compiler of land record, had claimed that around 1,500 goths had been merged into the city since the late 90s and that the land grabbers had subdivided them into plots and earned billions of rupees by selling them.

The top court is hearing the petition moved by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and others to have the delinquent officers of Sindh Police interrogated by a JIT headed by an officer of a federal agency.

The HRCP and others had requested the top court for formation of a new JIT, headed by an honest official of any federal agency such as the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to interrogate the Sindh police officials who handled Perveen Rehman’s case.

The petitioners, through their lawyer Raheel Kamran Sheikh had also referred to a news report dated March 13, 2017, which said a senior police officer with a reputation for integrity and experience of investigating into extremely dangerous, high-profile cases, had distanced himself from her murder probe soon after being appointed to lead it following the Supreme Court’s order to reopen the case.

According to the report, a highly reliable source revealed that superior officers in the force had told him not to pursue the land mafia, indicating that a significant and powerful portion of the Sindh police was under the control of criminal elements and actively collaborated with them to cover up, or at the very least, derail the Rehman’s murder investigation, said the petitioners.

While referring to several court orders, the counsel for petitioners contended that the Sindh Police was not only involved in covering up crimes but were also reluctant to act upon the directions of the court.

He further contended that the accused in Perveen Rehman’s case were charged essentially on the basis of their confessions made before the investigating team, which would not help much when retracted by the accused persons in the court. “The investigation has been carried out manifestly inadequately,” he contended.