PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday turned down the federal government’s request to extend the Frontier Constabulary’s (FC) presence in Islamabad till Tahirul Qadri’s long march scheduled for January 14.
The court issued show-cause notices to Deputy Interior Secretary Muhammad Mureed along with FC official Haroon for failing to return 150 FC platoons to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
The K-P government earlier filed a petition for the return of the FC personnel deployed outside the province to provide security to VVIPs in Karachi, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad.
PHC had issued a final warning to the federal government to return the FC troops, saying their deployment outside the province would otherwise be made illegal. This deadline expired on January 6.
On Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Iqbal Mohmand informed the court that the summary for the return of FC platoons had not been signed by the federal interior ministry as it was busy making arrangements for Qadri’s long march.
The division bench headed by PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and comprising Justice Khalid Mehmood said the interior ministry’s inability to sign the summary because of a busy schedule was not a sound reason.
“Despite K-P’s deteriorating situation, the federal government is reluctant to return the FC soldiers back to the province,” said Justice Khan.
During the hearing of a separate case, the court directed the K-P governor to hasten the recovery of kidnapped Gomal Zam Dam project workers and instructed officials to set up a temporary office in Fata for the purpose.
Eight Gomal Zam Dam employees were kidnapped on August 15. Tehreek-e-Taliban claimed responsibility and demanded Rs160 million along with the release of 17 militants as ransom.
Meanwhile, PHC also directed poultry and cattle meat exporters to submit bonds to ensure exports to Afghanistan will not result in price hikes or shortages in the province.
The court ordered exporters to form a committee to monitor and identify those smuggling such products to Afghanistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2013.