Tuesday, March 05, 2013

CJP takes suo motu over Shia killings in Karachi

* Directs advocate general and Sindh IGP to furnish comprehensive report on the incident

By Hasnaat Malik

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has taken suo motu notice of the Sunday bomb blast in Karachi that killed at least 45 people and injured 150.

Fixing the hearing of the case for tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry, the chief justice directed the advocate general and the Sindh provincial police officer to furnish a comprehensive report on the incident. Justice Iftikhar also noted that prima facie it appears that the state/provincial government has failed to protect life and property of the citizens, therefore an appropriate order will be passed by the court after hearing all concerned.

It must be noted that the chief justice has taken notice on a note initiated by the Supreme Court registrar based on press clippings of different newspapers containing the details of the attack in which at least 45 people died. A huge explosion ripped through a Shia-majority neighbourhood called Abbas Town in Karachi on Sunday. Several women and children were among the victims.

Following the explosion, the members of the Shia community took to the streets against the law enforcement agencies and the government, demanding arrest of the killers. Mourners gathered at different places and set ablaze a bus on the MA Jinnah Road. The situation in many areas was tense. It was reported that the law enforcement agencies personnel and other government officials did not reach the venue of the blast in time for the rescue operation because they were deputed at a private function to provide security/protocol to VIPs present there.

The note by the Supreme Court registrar further read that soon after two consecutive bomb blasts in Quetta, the Karachi attack was shocking and should serve as an eye opener. The incidents in Quetta led to the sacking of the provincial government, with calls for replacement of civil administration with the armed forces to provide security to the city’s residents. The notes said that being a major disaster, which caused dozens of deaths and enormous loss/destruction of property, it is a serious violation of the fundamental rights, guaranteed under articles 9, 14, 23 and 24 of the constitution.




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