PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) partially accepted seven writ petitions filed against the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on Monday.
In a petition, filed by Gull Khan, the petitioner challenged the jurisdiction of the force for conducting raids against narcotics in the tribal areas.
The court ordered that all the cases pertaining to ANF’s raids of narcotics in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) will not be taken at ANF courts but at the office of the political agent – who also acts as a sessions judge according to a notification issued in 1937 by the British.
The court also asked the federal government to formulate a law giving tribal residents a right of appeal at PHC.
A division bench comprising of PHC Chief Justice (CJ) Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth issued these orders.
Gull’s Counsel Abdul Latif Afridi, during the case proceedings earlier this month, told the court that jurisdictions of the ANF had not been extended to Fata but the force was still conducting raids in the region.
Afridi also informed the court that in February 2010, the ANF had unlawfully raided a house in Alamgudar area of the Khyber Agency and recovered 243 tonnes of hashish. He had informed the court that the ANF, after conducting raids in Fata, had registered a number of cases against tribesman requesting the court to nullify all the cases registered by the ANF.
Shakil, ANF’s counsel, during last hearing had informed the court that they possessed a notification issued by the interior ministry, allowing them to conduct raids everywhere in the country, including Fata, to seize narcotics.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2012.