Dr AQ Khan makes plea for free movement

LHC chief justice sustains objections raised by registrar on petition

Rana Yasif April 04, 2019
Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: Chief Justice Lahore High Court Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan sustained the objections raised by the LHC registrar office on a petition filed by the pioneer of the nuclear programme of Pakistan Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan seeking direction to ‘allow him as a free citizen of Pakistan and enjoying free movement to any place that he wishes to move’.

Dr Khan had challenged his limited movement praying the court to direct the respondents “The Government of Pakistan and Strategic Planning Division (SPD) government of Pakistan through ministry of defence” for not restraining him from moving freely.

As the proceedings commenced, CJ LHC sustaining the objections directed the petitioner’s counsel to address the objections raised by the LHC registrar office so that the legal procedure could be adopted to entertain the petition.

The LHC registrar office had raised objections on Dr Khan’s petition mentioning there was no CNIC copy and certificate attached about the status of the petition as normally the petition’s status is described whether or not the similar nature petition is pending anywhere.

The petitioner’s counsel appeared before the court contending that Dr Khan had challenged the step taken by the respondents to confine his movement but the LHC registrar office had raised objections. He prayed the court to remove the objections so that the petition could be heard.

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CJ LHC Khan sustained the objections of LHC office and added that the petitioner’ counsel should first address the objections raised by the said office so the petition could be entertained in accordance with law.

Dr Khan in his petition had contended that he felt proud for having done his bit to secure Pakistan from the evil eyes of the neighbours and other adversaries.

Dr Khan contended that the staff and officers of respondent SPD had stationed themselves in the house next door to his and ensured that no one had access to him. Nor did they permit the petitioner to move around or attend social or academic functions within the country without their prior approval or permission. Dr Khan maintained that no order had been conveyed to him warranting the treatment being meted out to him.

Dr Khan observed the way he was being treated by the respondent at the behest of government of Pakistan was violative of his constitutional right of dignity as enshrined in article 14 of the constitution. He said that he was kept under constant fear of being subjected to any physical harm. The petitioner noted that he was an old man of 84 years suffering from ailments.

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Dr Khan prayed the court to remove barriers and guards, except as genuinely required for his security and subject to his discretion. He further requested the court to direct the respondents not to restrain him or his family, friends or persons whom he wished to meet, from doing what they wanted to do and stop enquiring or requiring him to inform them where he intended to go.

He implored the court that he kindly be allowed to attend events in government colleges where he is invited and meet government officers, bureaucrats, officials or media persons for interview or otherwise.

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