Missing lawyer traced to militant training camp in Miranshah: Punjab police tells SC

Published: December 10, 2014
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The apex bench directed the Islamabad administration to submit a report about the police officials found responsible for F-8 district courts terrorist attack.PHOTO: REUTERS

The apex bench directed the Islamabad administration to submit a report about the police officials found responsible for F-8 district courts terrorist attack.PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The Punjab police informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that a missing lawyer had been traced to a militant training camp in Miranshah.

The camp was affiliated with the a militant group led by Ahmad Farooq and had ties to al Qaeda, police said.

Rawalpindi City Police on Wednesday submitted a four page report to the Supreme Court into the disappearance of lawyer Zaheer Ahmed Gondal, who has been missing since July 16, 2013. A three judge bench of apex court, headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Nasirul Milk, is hearing the case.

The police report said that a background check of Gondal and his family history revealed that two of his brothers, including Tanveer Gondal, have links with terror organisations.

The report further claimed that Tanveer is reportedly a mastermind of a number of suicide attacks in Islamabad and Punjab.

The report further claimed that Hammad Adil, who was also involved in the Chaudhry Zulfiqar assassination, belonged to Tanveer’s group.

Police claimed that during their investigations, Adil had revealed that Tanveer and Zaheer were involved in plotting a suicide attack on former president Gen Pervez Musharraf during his hearing at ATC Rawalpindi in June 2013.

In order to confirm Zaheer’s presence at the camp independently, a local source of the area was cultivated and tasked to verify the information.

However, due to the military operation in the area, link with the local source was lost.

The report added that they could not find any evidence to substantiate the allegation that Gondal had been picked up by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Further, Punjab police said they have asked relevant authorities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and FATA to assist in tracing the lawyer in Waziristan. However, they said they have not received any positive response so far.

“There is no evidence available on record that could point out to this being a case of enforced disappearance”, the report concluded.

After going through the report, the apex court decided to delink this matter with other similar cases of enforced disappearances.

The bench also asked the police to get a statement of Gondal’s family and submit a comprehensive report on January 13, 2015.

F-8 district courts attack report sought

The three-member bench directed Islamabad administration to submit a report about the police officials who were found to responsible for the F-8 district courts attack.

The Attorney General (AG) was directed to file a report about the compensation given to the people injured in the attack.

The bench had taken a suo moto notice on indiscriminate firing and suicide attacks on Islamabad District Courts on March 3, 2014, in which 12 people including an Additional Sessions Judge of Islamabad Court were killed.

Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Sajid Illyas Bhatti, on behalf of Islamabad administration, submitted a report regarding improving security for district courts. He said that action had been taken against the negligent policemen and four cops had been suspended.

Bhatti told the court that according to the initial report, responsibility had been fixed on 46 officials. Of these four were constables and one was an Assistant Sub-Inspector.

Justice Gulzar observed that the DSP and SP should also have been held responsible for the March 3, 2014, incident. He added that while action had been taken against the constables, the officers had been spared.

“We demand that action should be taken against the negligent officers and compensation be paid to the victim lawyers’ families,” said President Islamabad High Court Bar Association Naseer Kiyani.

He told the court that he still has concerns about security of courts in F-8 since there were still no police presence there.

Kiyani further said that the Commission had asked for security but its recommendations were not implemented and so far no action has been taken against the negligent police officers.

He contended that if a government official is killed in a terrorist attack, his family is given Rs15 million in compensation. But an ordinary citizen’s family receives only R0.5 million.

The CJP observed that a government servants’ status was different since upon retirement he gets pension, therefore his compensation would be different from the ordinary citizen.

 

DAG also informed the court that the government was not considering increasing the compensation amount, but only examining the procedure for payment of compensation.

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