Imran briefs SC on progress of school attack case

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Imran Khan was questioned about the progress his government made in the case, with the bench raising serious reservations on the recent ceasefire agreement between the government and the TTP…reports Hamza Ameer

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was summoned by the Supreme Court, on Wednesday briefed it on the progress made in the 2014 Army Public School (APS) attack case, which still haunts the victims’ families, loved ones and people at large.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justices Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, had summoned the Pakistan Premier at around 10 a.m. He arrived at the court roughly two hours later, just before noon.

The court was hearing the APS attack case, in which terrorists of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had stormed the Army Public School located on Warsak Road in Peshawar on December 16, 2014, brutally killing a total of 147 people, including 132 young children.

The hearing began with the Prime Minister present in courtroom No 1 along with a number of lawyers, security personnel, families of APS attack victims and PTI ministers, including Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Information Minister 1Fawad Chaudhry.

Imran Khan was questioned about the progress his government made in the case, with the bench raising serious reservations on the recent ceasefire agreement between the government and the TTP, which had claimed responsibility of the attack at the school.

The court criticised the Prime Minister for not taking enough steps to satisfy the families of the killed children and others in the attack, but instead talking with the TTP, as it termed the ceasefire agreement as “compromised agreement” with the killers of the country’s children.

“The satisfaction of the parents who lost their children in the APS attack is necessary,” said Justice Ahsan told him.

Imran Khan was also reminded that it was his responsibility to ensure that the culprits are brought to justice and the families of the loved ones are assured of complete support, as the court directed the government to submit a progress report within four weeks.

The Supreme Court bench, during the last hearing, had assured the families of the victims of all out assistance and support by the court in fulfilment of their demands.

“The AG (Attorney General) has been put on notice on the complaints and asked to take action, as required by the law, and if those who have been named are found guilty of negligence in the performance of their duties, necessary measures should be taken,” its order issued then read.

In Wednesday’s hearing, the court grilled the AG when he said that the order of the last hearing was not sent to the Premier.

“Is this the level of seriousness? Call the Prime Minister; we will talk to him ourselves. This cannot go on,” the Chief Justice said.

The family members of the victims had demanded registration of an FIR against those civilian and military officials who, they believe, were responsible for security measures at the school.

The Supreme Court had also raised serious questions over the capabilities of the country’s intelligence agencies, questioning their “disappearance” when it comes to the protection of their own citizens.

“Where do the intelligence agencies disappear when it comes to the protection of their own citizens? Was a case registered against the then army chief and other responsible?” the CJP asked.

“There is such a huge intelligence system in the country. Billion of rupees are spent on it. There is also a claim that we are the best intelligence agency in the world. So much is being spent on intelligence but the results are zero,” he said.

“The institutions should have known there would be a reaction to the operations in the tribal areas. The easiest and most sensitive target were children,” Justice Ahsan said.

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