Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Monday directed the Inspector General of Sindh Police, Wajid Ali Durrani, to set up a task force that will be free from political interventions.
The chief justice made this statement during the hearing of the Karachi violence case that took place at the Karachi registry of the Supreme Court.
Justice Chaudhry assured Durrani that the Supreme Court would provide the police “full support to conduct operations”. Justice Amir Hani Muslim added that Durrani should include honest police officers who may have been removed earlier due to political influence
“It is time for you to deliver,” the chief justice said to Durrani. He also told Durrani that time was running out and that the security situation in the city was serious.
Durrani told the chief justice that he had assigned a task force to arrest those named in the Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) report.
Lyari torture cells
Justice Chaudhry asked Durrani to submit tomorrow (Tuesday) DVDs of torture cells unearthed during the Lyari operation conducted last week. He also demanded the submission of the YouTube video of alleged torture and drilling of human flesh, and directed Durrani to investigate where the video was made.
To this, Durrani said that he was not given details of the Lyari operations or arrests of the suspects rounded up by the Rangers.
Justice Chaudhry said that if Durrani did not deliver, then the blame for failing to control the violence will fall on him because he is commanding the Sindh Rangers and Police.
Target killers on media
Durrani assured the chief justice that target killers will not be presented to the media, and that they will be presented in court during trial.
The chief justice termed the practice of allowing the suspects to speak to the press as incorrect. He lamented that when the target killers are presented in court, the police fails to provide enough evidence to convict them, after which the accused are let go.
‘Indian involvement in Karachi violence cannot be ruled out’
During the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Karachi violence case on Monday, Iftikhar Gilani, counsel for the Awami National Party (ANP), said the involvement of “Indian agents” in target killings in the city cannot be ruled out.
Gilani made this statement in court, to the special five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry .
Gilani told the chief justice that certain target killers have been trained in Indian camps and provided sub-machine guns and rocket launchers.
He also added that the Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) report on target killings in the city “cannot be challenged”, as it has been prepared by seven agencies and is credible. He said the report identifies which political party is involved in the violence.
Gilani said he obtained the JIT report after former Sindh Senior Minister Zulfiqar Mirza’s press conference where he was critical of Interior Minister Rehman Malik and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). He added that he appreciates Mirza’s efforts to shed light upon the report.
Gang wars or girlfriends?
ANP’s counsel Iftikhar Gilani said the violence in Karachi is not the result of gang wars. He supported his argument by adding that innocent people and not “gangsters” are the victims of violence.
Gilani also requested that court summon Interior Minister Rehman Malik regarding a “disturbing” statement he made about the recent rise of violence in the city.
Malik earlier said that 70% of target killings in Karachi were courtesy wives and girlfriends looking to get rid of their partners and vice versa.
Gilani said the court should call in former Sindh Senior Minister Mirza and investigate the allegations he has made against Malik.
The court, however, did not give any indication that it would fulfill his request.
The Supreme Court’s larger bench resumed the hearing of the suo motu case on Karachi violence on Monday in a bid to improve law and order in the metropolis which has witnessed the worst incidents of target killing.
A special five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, comprising Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ghulam Rabbani had adjourned hearing of the case till September 5 on the request of federation’s counsel, Dr Babar Awan.
The court had earlier directed Sindh police chief, Wajid Ali Durrani to submit a report on the FIRs registered during the past month after Eid holidays. Awan had contended that he wished to celebrate Eid with his family.