ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Wednesday questioned that despite having enough evidence against those Taliban who are waging a war against the state, why the federal government so far has not registered cases against them.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa questioned from attorney general whether ‘Daesh’ (a Taliban group) has been declared proscribed organization or banned. He asked: “If the reply is in ‘yes’ then show us its notification.”

The court query creates the impression that the government is still ignorant of the presence of the ‘Daesh’ elements in the country.

The AGP, however, did not reply whether Daesh has been banned or not but assured if it is declared proscribed organization then he would produce its notification.

Justice Qazi further asked why the state is not registering FIRs against them (Taliban leaders). Justice Jawwad S Khawaja inquired where from these people have emerged. He said earlier there was no distinction of Shia and Sunni, but now it’s everywhere? “Who is responsible to create these people (Taliban),” he asked.

Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Salman Butt stated he would reply to all these questions, but in-camera. He argued if these people will not be controlled now then it would be disastrous for next generation. Qazi Faez said according to Anti-Terrorism Act when the trial of these persons could be held in absentia then why it has not been done so far.

In a counter question the AGP asked is there any bar that these persons could not be tried under the Army Act? Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked there was lot of information about them and in video clips faces of many Taliban leaders are visible then why the FIRs have not been registered against them yet? “Now we have seen the electronic evidence,” the judge said.

Onset of the proceedings, seven video clips related to Taliban were played in the courtroom. The clips contained scenes of slitting throats of army men, playing football with their heads and attack of a mosque and speeches of Taliban leaders that they don’t recognize Pakistan, and its constitution.

After watching the clips, the attorney general contended that the Taliban have declared war against Pakistan, therefore, constitutional amendment and the modification in Army Act 1952 were made. Quoting Article 5 of the Constitution, the AGP argued they (Taliban) are not loyal to the state and also don’t recognize Pakistan.

The attorney general also informed that ‘Qanoon-e-Shahadat’ (law of evidence) under Army Act 1952 is applicable. He said the Army Act provides for charge-sheet, choosing of counsel, producing witnesses, recording statement and opportunity to provide evidence. Upon that Justice Khosa remarked then the difference between military and ordinary courts is of presiding officer? Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry inquired as to whether at the conclusion of case a judgment is being written or it is simply written guilty or not guilty?

During the proceeding, Justice Khosa said: “Today he is feeling bit uneasy and hesitating to ask questions as today (Wednesday) I have been grossly misquoted in one English newspaper.” He further said: “We (judges) say something else but is published differently.” Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany stated: “It seems that our trial is going on.”

Justice Khosa also inquired from the AGP whether terrorist cases have been filed in the ATCs for their conviction, adding the ATCs were set up to deal with the terrorism related matters.

The AGP contended the ATCs were established for the trial of terrorists, but they (Taliban) are the people waging war against the state. Justice Jawwad asked after having lot of material how many cases were filed for trial?

The attorney general replied that in Malala Yousafzai case all persons involved in an attempt to kill her, were acquitted. Justice Khosa stated might be insufficient evidence was submitted before the court. He said it is a very dangerous trend that if the prosecution declares anyone terrorist then all the legal remedies available to that person go. He said if the police start adopting same thing then what will happen.

The hearing is adjourned till Thursday.