The Peshawar High Court (PHC) will withdraw its stay order against the provincial government’s directives to suspend operations of private security firms, if the companies concerned fail to submit their replies in time.
In February 2012, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government had suspended licenses of around 27 security companies in the province. Later in March, on the plea of around 24 companies, the court put a stay order against the government’s decision, allowing the companies to resume work.
During a hearing of the case, counsel for the security firms, Waqar Khan, said the government was bound to issue a show-cause notice under the Private Security Companies Ordinance 2002 before halting operations.
The court later ordered secretary of Home and Tribal Affairs to explain the government’s decision. On August 1, Additional Advocate General Naveed Akhtar informed the court that the government had issued orders after the licences of the firms expired. He added that they decision was also based on the failure of companies to reply to certain queries of the government.
Officials of the home department told The Express Tribune that the PHC has given a final chance to the security companies. They have been ordered to explain their position by the next hearing scheduled for September 5.
“They are just using delay tactics to prolong the situation. Their counsel was absent during the last hearing in August,” the official added.
The provincial government had asked security companies to inform the government of about their operations, location, as well as the number and type of arms they possess. The decision was taken after the number of bank robberies increased in the provincial capital in which security guards were found to be involved.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2012.