Islamabad: TheIslamabad High Court (IHC) has summoned the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Affairs Shehzad Akbar over the law and order situation in the federal capital.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan official Sajid Gondal had gone missing from Islamabad on September 3 and his wife had moved a petition in the IHC fearing he was kidnapped.
In his September 7 order, the IHC Chief Justice had made it clear to the IGP of Islamabad and the Interior Secretary they would have to be answerable if Gondal didn’t return within ten days (by Sept 17).
However, in the September 17 hearing, the court was informed that Gondal had returned home on September 8, a day after the IHC’s order and an investigation into his disappearance was underway.
To this the judge expressed his displeasure that a senior officer was picked from the federal capital and returned only after the court notice but the officials responsible for law and order in the country were least bothered about such abysmal state of law and order in the federal capital.
“The state machinery has failed to protect the ordinary citizens while the public functionaries appear to be helpless before the elite and the privileged. It is the duty of the state to restore the confidence of the ordinary citizens by restoring rule of law and treating every citizen equally,” observed the chief Justice.
Law and order
Justice Minallah asked the state counsel, additional attorney general Tariq Khokhar if the matter was brought to Prime Minister’s notice and whether an advice was tendered to him over the deplorable law and order situation in the federal capital or security of ordinary citizens.
The AAG informed the court that in pursuant of the court’s September 7 order, a detailed briefing was given to the prime minister and the cabinet members on September 8. A committee on enforced disappearances has also been notified by the cabinet, he said.
The court observed that Akbar was also a member of the Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA), and his responsibilities clearly include advising the prime minister on the abysmal governance and criminal justice system within the 1,400 square miles that make up the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
In his order, Justice Minallah observed the fundamental rights of ordinary citizens are being violated and their confidence in the criminal justice system was being eroded. Land related crimes, such as land grabbing, have become an unchecked widespread phenomenon and shockingly ministries/departments and state entities are allegedly involved.
“They are engaged in the illegal real estate business. This raises a serious question of conflict of interest,” said the judge’s order. The court also directed the interior secretary, the Islamabad inspector general of police and the chief commissioner to appear in person on the said date.