Startling disclosures made in ISI briefing to SC: CJ
Saturday, September 10, 2011
KARACHI: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Friday said some startling disclosures were made in the ISI’s in-camera briefing to the court about the city’s situation. However, he added that the court could not reveal the revelations.
The CJ was hearing the suo moto case into the Karachi violence. Expressing concern that all cases of killings had been disposed of as untraceable, he said the police were capable of performing their duties but simply did not want to do so.
Inspector General, Sindh Police, Wajid Ali Durrani, told the court’s five-member bench that police faced operational problems due to political links of officers in the force. “Thirty to 40 percent police officers are affiliated with the MQM; this creates problems in police operations,” Durrani told the SC larger bench headed by the CJ. “Action is being taken against police officials who are deceiving the forces but I will admit I don’t have the power to take action against officers above the rank of DSP due to procedural requirements and the revival of the Police Act.”
The chief justice directed the IG to take across-the-board action against all culprits involved in lawlessness, observing that all stakeholders of the city, including the MQM and PPP, had admitted before the court that they wanted peace in the city. Justice Iftikhar observed that the court wanted to strengthen the police department and asked Durrani to inform the court if he was facing any political pressure in the discharge of his duty, since this was a matter of national interest.
The chief justice observed that the Police Order 2002 had Constitutional backup under the 17th Amendment and protected the order that envisaged special powers for the IG Sindh to deal with the affairs of the police. He observed that the Police Order could not be abolished through an ordinance. He said Rangers had also been given full powers and asked the IG to make changes in the police and take action against criminals.
The Attorney General of Pakistan filed a report from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in compliance of the court’s August 24 order. The CJ expressed displeasure over the poor investigation by the police of the Chakra Goth police van attack case.
“What will happen to the morale of the police if this goes on,” the chief justice asked the police chief observing that the SHO had made two false arrests in the case, and the suspects were subsequently released by the administrative judge of the anti-terrorism court. He observed that the main culprits of the offence were not nominated in the case, which showed inefficiency on the part of the investigators.
AIG Sindh Saud Mirza said an inquiry had been conducted against the delinquent officer on the recommendation of the administrative judge of the ATC and he was removed from the post. Justice Amir Hani Muslim wondered what the fate of other cases would be if police could not investigate the killing of its own officials, observing that such circumstances showed that “police are patronising the culprits”.
Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany observed that the IG should be given complete powers as far as the police department was concerned. Wajid Durrani said that police had no problem in taking action against any party and that they would do their best to control the law and order situation.
AIG Saud Mirza told the court there were hurdles in getting requisite information from cell phone companies as well as evidence from banks in respect of the ATC cases. He said police have to face difficulties in getting mobile phone records from mobile phone companies. He also suggested that the import of such mobiles that do not contain the IMEI number and necessary directions be issued to customs authorities.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry observed that had customs authorities performed their duties honestly, the smuggling of over 10,000 containers from the country would not have been possible.
The IG Sindh suggested that a police officer of SSP rank be assigned to gather information from mobile phone companies. The chief justice asked the IG how such a facility could be delivered to a police officer when he himself admitted the presence of politically affiliated officers in the force. However, he suggested that AIG Saud Mirza be made a focal person regarding the collection of such information.
The federal government’s counsel, Babar Awan, submitted that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority was a mere regulator and had nothing to do with service providers that controlled the operation of the cellular network.
The court directed him to submit such problems in writing and hand over a copy to the attorney general to seek instructions from concerned quarters to expedite the arrest of the accused persons involved in terrorism, target killings, bhatta collection etc in Karachi. The court directed the AGP to submit the report on the next date of the hearing.
The court also took exception to the continuation of shoulder promotions in the police department despite a court order declaring such promotions as void. The AIG (Legal) submitted that the Supreme Court had stayed the order in this regard. The court directed the police to file an application which the court will hear and decide on September 13.
In compliance of the court order of September 8, Advocate General, Sindh Abdul Fatah Malik, filed the progress report. He said that in case of the murder of advocate Fahimul Haq and two others, progress was likely to be made. However, he said that at this stage, the investigation officer did not want to disclose information and claimed privilege. The court subsequently granted the request.
The AG said that a torso found from Pakistan Bazaar area was not identified but the case had been registered under the anti-terrorism law while the body recovered from the Sachal area was identified as being of an ANP activist and activists of the All Pakistan Mohajir Student Organisation had been nominated in the case by the complainant. He said that a policeman was killed in Malir when he was going to perform his duty.
The court also directed the AG to submit details regarding the killings of five footballers who were kidnapped from Zainab Market, Saddar, and whose bodies were later found from the Preedy, Ferozabad and PECHS areas.
The court expressed dissatisfaction over the police investigation regarding the kidnapping of a student Sharif who was released by the criminals after torture. Police said that the victim was recovered from Malir and told police that he was kidnapped and tortured by the kidnappers who later threw him in Badin from where he returned home. The police officer said that the victim said he could not identify the culprits who had kidnapped him.
Regarding the murder case of a man whose tortured body was found on August 5, SSP Central Asim Khan informed the court that a suspect had been arrested in connection with the murder of Waheed, who had married the ex-wife of the suspect in July. The court took notice over the delay in the investigation by the police and observed that investigation should have been initiated prior to the Supreme Court directives and directed the SSP to submit a comprehensive report in this regard.
Justice Iftikhar said that the court wanted to improve the investigation system of the police and that this could be done only if the police wanted it also. The court also directed all respondents to file para-wise comments on petitions of the Watan Party and Tariq Asad since they will likely be taken up next week. The hearing of the case was adjourned till September 13.
APP adds from Islamabad: Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry directed the IG Sindh to ensure the arrest of the absconding accused involved in the murder case of advocate Ali Muhammad Dahri. In an earlier directive, the IG Sindh was ordered to submit a progress report within seven days over the murder.
The chief justice issued the direction after taking notice of a resolution passed by the District Bar Association, Nawabshah. The bar, in its resolution, had stated that the investigation agency was not cooperating in the arrest of the nominated accused involved in the brutal murder of Dahri.