APS massacre report: Interior, defence ministries ordered to reply amid scathing comments from bench

Sending comments on piece of paper not a solution, says PHC CJ Miankhel

Fawad Ali April 20, 2016

PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel expressed his dissatisfaction with the federal, interior and defence ministries replies regarding the Army Public School enquiry. The court ordered them to provide a complete record and submit proper comments in a petition demanding the enquiry report be made public.

The court on Wednesday was hearing a petition filed by Ajun Khan, who is the father of APS student Asfand who died in the December 16, 2014 massacre, and other parents.

Deputy Attorney General Manzoor Khalil informed the court the secretaries of interior and defence have filed their replies. “They have adopted the stance the provincial government was informed about the [impending] attack and the provision of security was the K-P government’s responsibility.”

The chief justice remarked sending a reply on a piece of paper was not a solution to the problem. He observed no records or details were attached with the reply.

The DAG replied saying a copy of National Action Plan was attached to the comments.

The chief justice responded, “Everyone knew about NAP; let us know if there is anything new attached to the comments.”

Miankhel said the comments filed were also unsatisfactory. Detailed replies along with complete record should be submitted, he ordered. Additional Advocate General Qaiser Ali Shah informed the bench the PHC sought replies from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa IGP and home secretary but they haven’t filed them so far. Shah requested a last chance for the respondents to respond.

“We asked them to reply one month ago; why haven’t they as yet? Therefore, I order their salaries be attached so they file their replies.” The IGP and home secretary were granted a last chance to file comments.

A large number of parents and their children were present at the courtroom to witness the proceedings. Some of the parents, along with Ajun, had filed a petition demanding the PHC order the government to make the APS massacre report public.

Secretary health on notice

In another case, the same bench issued a notice to the secretary health and a doctor allegedly appointed in violation of merit.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Dr Ameer Hamza through his counsel Ijaz Anwar. The court was informed a vacancy of assistant professor was advertised at Nowshera Medical College.

Anwar said the selection committee of the college appointed candidate Dr Fawad in violation of merit.

He requested the bench to declare the appointment null and void and order appointment of the petitioner. The bench, after hearing the arguments, issued notices to respondents to file their replies before the next hearing.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st,  2016.


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