Suo motu: Sindh govt given 2 days to appoint ATC judges

Chief Justice says violence in Karachi political, not ethnic.

Ahmed Jung September 06, 2011

KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Tuesday ordered the Sindh government to appoint judges for vacant Anti-Terrorism Courts (ATC) within two days.

The court, during the suo motu hearing on Karachi violence, had also summoned the law secretary on the appointment of judges for Anti-Terrorism Courts in Karachi. Due to the non-availability of the law secretary, the additional home and law secretaries came to the court and informed the bench that the government had no reservations on the appointment of judges on the recommendations of the chief justice.

The chief justice, who was heading the five-member bench, said the government should fill the vacancies within two days and the statements of the additional secretaries will be put on record.

Today’s hearing began with the Attorney General informing the court that the torture videos contained disturbing visuals and should not be shown in public. He said that the videos should be shown in private to the larger bench.

ANP men involved in Kemari bus burning: Police

The chief justice was briefed by the relevant Superintendent of Police (SP) on the bus burning incident which resulted in the death of six people on August 12.

The police informed the court that two people had been arrested in the case and weapons had also been recovered. Khanzada and Muhammad Shafi had been arrested from the crime scene and had told the police Ramazan, Jadoon, Afzak, Saleem were also involved in the incident. The police said the two men had given their statements and had said they belonged to the Awami National Party (ANP) Kemari Unit and had carried out the attack to make the party’s August 13 strike successful.

The bench asked the attorney general why there had been no response from the government when two groups had been fighting at Kati Pahari for four days, and that there had been a cry to deploy the army but Rangers and Police were nowhere to be found.

It also questioned what the government had been doing for the last three years and why information was being released now, and that it was like a tap the government kept turning on and off.

The chief justice questioned Inspector General of Police (IG) Sindh Wajid Durrani on the First Information Report (FIR) of the Chakra Goth incident.

Durrani accepted that the accused in the attack on the police, Kamran and Sohail, had not been nominated in the FIR. Justice Chaudhry asked why a proper FIR is not filed and evidence not collected so that the culprits can be tried and punished.

'Violence in Karachi political, not ethnic'

The chief justice said that ANP counsel Iftikhar Gilani was right and that violence in the city was not ethnic but political. He said people like Ajmal Pahari were members of militants groups and questioned why action had not been taken against them.

Justice Ghulam Rabbani said the JIT reports were substantial evidence and that police should have taken action based on the reports. He said that Pakistan came in being on the name of Islam and the message of the religion was peace, but there was no peace in the country at the moment.

He also said the police had failed to bring evidence to the court.

“I was reading the material presented to the court at night and it was an eye opener for me,” said the chief justice.

The chief justice remarked that all assemblies and the senate were functioning in the country and incidents of violence should not occur in a democracy.

He said a decision needed to be taken and questioned the attorney general if he wanted to save the country or the government.

The chief justice said Karachi was a mini-Pakistan and it was a matter of serious concern if the citizens were not being protected. He said no one should be above the law and all those involved in the violence should be punished.

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