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The real threat to Pakistan: op-ed

by Farrukh Khan Pitafi in the News,September 8, 2017
The writer is an Islamabad-based TV journalist
At the height of terror attacks in Pakistan the need was felt for a national consensus against the scourge. It was in those days that one opinion writer observed that there was consensus in Pakistan on terrorism – but that it was not against it. This statement was immediately rejected as another proof of the intellectual class’s cynicism. But, despite sustaining such a heavy loss at the hands of terrorists, you will notice that the Pakistani society does not respond as vociferously against terror as any other existential challenge – say, for instance, against Indian hostility.

I am sure you can name many national heroes who died fighting India and were awarded the Nishan-e-Haider. But how many names can you recount of the soldiers who fell fighting terrorism. Do you know there are thousands of them? Terrorism doesn’t just kill; it leaves behind countless mutilated, crippled bodies behind. How many have you inquired about or tried to help? How many charities do you know of that are dedicated to the welfare of civilian victims of terror? Where do you go when you need to know who and how many have been victims of terrorism? How many national monuments are built to honour the sacrifice of these victims of terror and the soldiers who died combating it?

It is clear then that even if there is a consensus in society, it is not against terrorism. But is it not perplexing to note that no such consensus exists against this pestilence when it has damaged this society so deeply? Terrorists have killed our children in APS Peshawar, attacked women in bazaars, assailed the GHQ and other defence facilities, courts, mosques. Why this indifference then?

The answer lies in the perceived identity of the state itself and the wrong assumptions about the faith. To understand the identity problem of the state just take a look at the country’s history. To establish an identity independent of India, it was concluded that Pakistan had to be an Islamic state. It was primarily because of this choice that the founder of the nation’s August 11, 1947 speech stipulating a secular vision for country’s future was so blatantly censored by the state machinery. In adopting political Islam, nobody cared to notice that, since the ideology banks heavily on pan-nationalistic worldview, it works to undermine the very existence of a nation-state.

But no heed was paid to the matter. In the constant confrontation with India, this ideology came handy. And in the charged environment of the cold war, it proved doubly useful and rarely threatening. The ensuing state indoctrination was not just tolerated but actively helped by the West. But this ideology truly got weaponised after the collapse of the Soviet Union when the West and religious militants started considering each other as enemies. The Pakistani state, which did not consider the West as an enemy, did precious little partly because of its fear of encirclement and partly because of its interest in the then religiously driven Kashmir insurgency.

When after 9/11 an effort was made to reverse this tide of indoctrination it was too late and the militants had grown strong enough to wage a war on Pakistan. Since then, the state has primarily been occupied with putting out day to day fires and has done little to change the predominant narrative in society supporting political Islam. Meanwhile, left to its own devices, the predominantly right-leaning intelligentsia has been coming up with one conspiracy theory after another. The resulting paranoia has further diminished the capacity of state functionaries to bring about a paradigm shift.

Now a look at the weaponisation of faith. After the fall of the Soviet Union, religious militants felt abandoned and often targeted by the West. So, they had to declare the US and its allies as the enemy. But how do you declare someone an enemy when he has been your closest ally until yesterday? The solution was found in Islamic eschatology. Suddenly, literature started appearing about the end of times in which the West was projected as the enemy of Islam and a deliberately distorted image of the Western lifestyle was projected. It was a clever idea because if it was painted as a religiously ordained last battle between the good and the evil, there was little chance anybody would dare to contradict it.

This narrative has since permeated into various walks of life in Pakistan. The introduction of almost fatalist views like Huntington’s clash of civilisations, and the Gulf war that resulted in the presence of sizeable contingent of US forces on Saudi soil did not help. This was all seen as definitive proof that the forces of evil war moving closer to the Islam’s holiest spaces for the final kill. When such reactionary interpretations are combined with various conspiracy theories, you get a lethal mix.

Since the decision to join the fight against terrorism was made during the rule of a dictator and there were no democratic forums to build a broader consensus, the relatively moderate clergy went into a reactionary mode. It was already a product of decades-long official regimentation where political Islam was considered central to national identity and to their own purpose of existence. Sadly, wrong assumptions have constantly limited society’s ability to rally against the challenges posed by terrorism. And the religious elite has been lacking in conviction to declare terrorism unIslamic. Consider only this. Despite knowing it well that suicide is definitely and absolutely forbidden in Islam, it took our religious scholars 15 years to come up with a unanimous edict to declare suicide bombings un-Islamic.

These are the fault lines created by a politically motivated interpretation of Islam within our country and state. This is where single-minded focus was needed to dismantle reductive and reactionary worldview popularised by militants and their sympathisers. And gradual work had started owing to the resumption of the democratic process in the country. The largest party in the 2013 elections, the PMLN, was not very vocal against terrorism at that time. However, as it shouldered the burden of governing the country, and terrorist attacks continued unabated, it started owning the fight against terrorism. But with the dismissal of its elected leader the fear is that the focus has shifted away from the existential struggle.

It is at times like these that one is compelled to remind the country’s elite that the biggest threat to the country is posed by terrorists and not politicians. In this age there is no room left for non-state actors that sully the name of faith and are hell-bent on destroying Pakistan and its relationship with the rest of the world. Unimpeded democratic cycles, by empowering the citizens, could have convinced them that the use of a politicised interpretation of faith for national identity would only harm us in the long run. That opportunity now seems to have been further delayed.https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/228463-The-real-threat-to-Pakistan

September 8, 2017   No Comments

Countering campus extremism : edit in Daily Times, September 8th 2017.

We share Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani’s concerns over reports that Karachi University is considering handing over the data of its students to intelligence agencies and asking students to obtain clearance certificates from law enforcers.

As universities across the country confront the menace of extremism on their campuses, let us remind them that the solution does not lie in expanding their powers of surveillance and using those to monitor students’ activities. It is hard to imagine that in such a circumstance universities will be able to do what they are meant to do: promote a culture of tolerance and pluralism as well as critical inquiry and debate on all issues of academic interest. Over the years, the absence of these characteristics has impacted the quality of research and education, rendering our universities incapable of nurturing critical faculties of those admitted into their degree programmes. This has meant that even the best of our graduates aren’t equipped with analytical tools to engage and accommodate different worldviews.

Without recognising and undoing this collective failure of institutions that govern and organise social life in Pakistan, there can be no solution to extremism on campuses. And this brings us to the key question: what is to be done to check extremist influences among students?

Unlike the KU administration, NED University in the same city has reportedly agreed that a sense of participation needs to be inculcated among students besides the administrative staff for countering militant tendencies. We will go a step further and suggest that participation of students, besides teachers and administrators, should not just be restricted to implementation of the plan for countering militancy. The plan should be devised in consultation with students’ representatives. Unfortunately, the only viable institution that could have represented the students in a democratic manner remains banned by the state itself for three decades. Let us not waste any more time in restoring student unions in campuses across Pakistan.

Also necessary is an examination of the syllabus taught at various science and business degree programmes and the need for incorporation of humanities subjects as compulsory components in bachelor’s degrees. http://dailytimes.com.pk/editorial/08-Sep-17/countering-campus-extremism

September 8, 2017   No Comments

Scrutiny of students unacceptable: edit in Dawn, Sept 8th, 2017

A dangerous proposal, rightly opposed by Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani in a letter to the VC of the Karachi University, has been floated to encourage all universities to start sharing student records with intelligence agencies as part of an effort to counter the presence of extremist elements and ideas in these institutions.

The idea was debated after the attempted assassination of a senior political figure in Karachi by a former student of KU.

Any inroads that extremist and militant groups can make into universities and student bodies is a serious matter and must be countered vigorously. But opening up scrutiny of all student records to security and intelligence agencies will do little to help in the matter.

First, the records are not likely to contain anything that will help identify any radicalisation of students taking place. Second, the security forces have little idea of what to look for as signs of incipient radicalisation that might be contained in the records.

The idea takes us back to the Ayub Khan days when student groups were almost uniformly viewed with suspicion and state surveillance of campus life had a stifling impact on education. Today, too, opening up campuses to the invasive gaze of security and intelligence agencies will have the same result.

The reach of the agencies will go far beyond the admissions database, which has little more than what the Nadra database contains. Instead, if the agencies start asking about papers and examination records of individual students, library borrowing records, CCTV footage, as well as the teachers’ ‘candid’ assessment of potential radicals in their classrooms, the damage done to the educational process could be irreparable. Such scrutiny would be a dangerous precedent, especially considering there is already a track record of using access to such records for purposes other than pursuing terrorists.

There is little doubt, however, that universities and institutes of higher education have a role to play in the effort to counter the spread of violent ideas and groups in our society. But that role is best served through the central pillar upon which any university is built: the curriculum.

All higher education curricula should cultivate the critical thinking faculties of their students. Such critical thinking comes from exposure to history and its contentious details, the enormous diversity of the human race, the millennia-long conversation amongst philosophers, the complex arrangements of society, economy and polity through which social life articulates itself, and much more.

It is this exposure, and the deep appreciation of the complexities of life that it breeds, along with the suspicion of anyone who claims to have simple answers to all questions, that are blooming in the minds of the youth — that is the most potent endowment universities can confer upon their students. This is where the faculty should focus their energies.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1356231/scrutiny-of-students-unacceptable

September 8, 2017   No Comments

HBL fined $225m, ordered to shut New York branch

AFP reportt in Dawn, September 08, 2017
United States (US) banking regulators slapped a $225 million fine and Habib Bank Limited (HBL) to shutter its New York office, for repeatedly failing to heed concerns over possible terrorist financing and money laundering, officials said Thursday.

HBL, Pakistan’s largest private bank, neglected to watch for compliance problems and red flags on transactions that potentially could have promoted terrorism, money laundering or other illicit ends, New York banking officials said.

The state’s Department of Financial Services, which regulates foreign banks, had initially proposed a $629.6m penalty.

HBL has operated in the US since 1978, and in 2006 was ordered to tighten its oversight of potentially illegal transactions but failed to comply.

New York regulators said it facilitated billions of dollars of transactions with Saudi private bank, Al Rajhi Bank, which reportedly has links to Al Qaeda, and failed to do enough to ensure that the funds were not laundered or used for terrorism.

“DFS will not tolerate inadequate risk and compliance functions that open the door to the financing of terrorist activities that pose a grave threat to the people of this State and the financial system as a whole,” DFS Superintendent Maria Vullo said in a news release.

“The bank has repeatedly been given more than sufficient opportunity to correct its glaring deficiencies, yet it has failed to do so.”

HBL permitted at least 13,000 transactions that were not sufficiently screened to ensure they did not involve sanctioned countries, the agency said.

And the bank improperly used a “good guy” list to rubber stamp at least $250m in transactions, including those by an identified terrorist and an international arms dealer, regulators said.

In an August letter to the Pakistan Stock Exchange, Habib company secretary Nausheen Ahmad called the proposed fine of $629.6m “outrageous” and “capricious” and said the bank had decided to close its New York operations “in an orderly manner.”

But DFS said Habib will have to surrender its license after it meets the agency’s requirements.

“DFS will not stand by and let Habib Bank sneak out of the United States,” Vullo said. https://www.dawn.com/news/1356228/hbl-fined-225m-ordered-to-shut-new-york-branch

September 8, 2017   No Comments

Sharoon lost his life due to his faith: by R Umaima Ahmed in The Nation, Sept 8, 2017

The writer is a member of staff
LAHORE – Another beacon of light was extinguished, this time in Burewala, a town in Vehari District of Punjab.

Sharoon Masih, a young intelligent boy who aimed at the stars, was beaten to death by Muhammad Ahmed Rana, a class fellow along with a couple of other students, for being a Christian. Ahmad Rana is behind bars for the last eight days while the other students are on the run. According to initial reports, Sharoon died due to injuries in the stomach, while the postmortem report has not been given so far.

Sharoon was doing extremely well in his previous school in Chak-461 EB. Due to outstanding result in class 8 final examinations, his teachers encouraged his parents to let him continue his studies. His father got him admitted in MC Model Boys Government High School Burewala of District Vehari. However, Sharoon was not able to adjust in the hostile environment.

Although Elyab Masih, Sharoon’s father is without a job for the last eight months, still he wanted his son to study and used his savings to get Sharoon admitted to school. To meet the hardships of life, Sharoon too used to do manual labour while continuing his studies so his parents could not feel the burden.

From the very first day of school, Sharoon was mistreated by the teachers and class fellows especially Muhammad Ahmed Rana, said Sharoon’s family. His paternal uncle Liaquat, speaking to The Nation, said, “Sharoon complained to his father that the teacher had slapped him for not wearing a uniform and was asked to stand in the sun whole day. His father had said that Sharoon should take off from school the next day; he took a loan of Rs.2,000 to buy his son the school uniform and told him that he would talk to the principal the next day. But it was too late, he was killed that day.”

When asked what happened on that day, Liaquat said, “We don’t know for sure what happened but some students say Ahmed tried to stop Sharoon’s path first then they had an argument on mobile phone which led to a fight and resulted in his death. When the fight broke out some students went to the teachers to tell them what was happening. However, no one bothered to take notice of the ‘trivial’ issue and they preferred to take tea saying, “We are taking tea, go away.”

Regarding religious discrimination, Liaquat said, “On first day of school Sharoon told us that kids at school were not letting him drink water from the same glass as he was a Christian. Later, they started calling him a ‘chura’ (a derogatory term for sweepers). We believe this would have been one of the reasons for his death.”

As for the police and politicians of the area, Liaquat said no one visited them after Sharoon’s death as they were siding with the other party. “We voted for these people but no one came to help us. Police are also not helping. They are not taking any action against principal of the school.”

No one from the school administration came forward to explain what happened exactly in school that day. According to Mehwish Bhatti of British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), “There were about 40 teachers and over a thousand children who did not try to save Sharoon’s life. All the teachers gave 10 different statements to police and family. No one from the administration is coming out with the truth, while the students say that Sharoon was beaten up by Muhammad Ahmed Rana. When asked why no one came to save him, they said that Ahmed was too powerful for anyone to handle.”

Regarding Ahmed Rana, she said, “The boy is in police custody for the last 8 days and he has not given any statement about the incident. According to Sharoon’s parents, Ahmed is much older to be a student of class 9. He has a very bad past record and sometime ago he had injured one of the headmasters in school.

“Till now we don’t even know the name of Ahmed’s father, in the first information report (FIR) unknown is written as the father’s name. Ahmed’s family has the support of an influential person of the area.”

“Sharoon was taken to hospital by the students, no teacher took responsibility. When Sharoon’s mother reached the hospital the doctor said he breathed his last in hospital. But the students refuted the claim saying he had expired on the spot. All the witnesses that we have met said that Sharoon was killed because of his religious belief,” said Mehwish Bhatti.

“No police officer or public representative of the area were available to answer our queries.”

BCPA is providing advocacy and financial assistance to Sharoon’s family. Wilson Chowdry, Chairman of BCPA, said “Sharoon’s devastated family will have to cope with the immense emotional pain of a totally avoidable incident. It brought a bad fame to MC Model Boys Government High School that a Christian was targeted in this fashion.

Despite attempts by Pakistani authorities to improve the lives of minorities, the persecution and discrimination they face seems to have increased over the years.

“This killing of a young Christian teenager at school, serves only to remind us that hatred towards religious minorities starts at a young age. It is transferred from one generation to another through cultural norms and a biased national curriculum.”

This news has been making rounds on the social media but so far the state and law authorities have not reacted to it, as in the case of Mashal Khan, who was killed in Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan.http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Sep-2017/sharoon-lost-his-life-due-to-his-faith

September 8, 2017   No Comments

Term of body probing ‘enforced disappearances’ extended

Report in Dawn, September 8th, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet, which met under Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday, granted a three-year extension to the Inquiry Commission on Enforced Disappearances that had been set up in 2010 in the light of the Supreme Court verdict in the missing persons case.

A senior minister told Dawn that the cabinet had in fact ratified the approval that had already been granted by the prime minister to extend the period of the two-member inquiry commission under retired Justice Javed Iqbal till Sept 14, 2020.

The commission was set up by the interior ministry under the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1956 and its period has been extended from time to time since a number of cases of enforced disappearances are yet to be concluded. The main task of the commission, which holds its meetings in different cities, is to “look into all facts of the matter and to make efforts to trace the whereabouts of the missing persons”.

The commission has already resolved more than 2,400 cases.

Besides, the federal cabinet passed a unanimous resolution condemning the Rohingya Muslims’ genocide in Myanmar.

“The government of Pak­istan condemns the cold-blooded and callous genocide of innocent Rohingya Muslims, including women, children and even infants, under the direct patronage of state institutions of Myanmar,” says the resolution, the text of which was released to the media by the Prime Minister Office.

The resolution says: “The brutal and barbaric acts perpetrated against the unarmed civilian population not only constitute state terrorism, but also question the collective human conscience across nations and societies. These atrocities have also revealed the appalling hypocrisy of the democratic leadership of Myanmar.

“We call upon Nobel laureate Ms Aung San Suu Kyi to take immediate steps to stop the atrocities being committed in Myanmar where her party is in power.”

Sources said that some cabinet members raised the issue of the recent declaration by BRICS naming some militant groups allegedly based in Pakistan as a regional security concern and calling for their patrons to be held to account.

The sources said that the prime minister took the cabinet members into confidence on the matter, stating that China had already clarified its position on the matter.

He said China had explained that there was no change in its policy and stand on the issue with respect to the recently-adopted BRICS declaration against terrorist groups. The prime minister said the organisations that had been banned by the UN had also been proscribed by Pakistan and they considered these banned outfits a security threat and illegal entities.

He said that Pakistan desired peace in Afghanistan. https://www.dawn.com/news/1356287/term-of-body-probing-enforced-disappearances-extended

September 8, 2017   No Comments

JUI-F seeks safe recovery of ‘missing’ leader

Report in Dawn, September 8th, 2017
HYDERABAD: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Sindh joint secretary Haji Abdul Malik Talpur has appealed for immediate recovery of the party’s Hyderabad chapter vice president Mufti Habibullah “since he does not have any links to any jihadi organisation”.

Mr Talpur said at a press conference at the Hyderabad Press Club late on Thursday evening that it was wrong to portray Habibullah as a terrorist.

If there was evidence against him, it should be produced in a court of law, he said. He said that Habibullah went to his native town Pishin near Quetta ahead of Eidul Azha where he was picked up on Sept 6 and since then he had been incommunicado.

He said that Habibullah had been associated with JUI-F for 30 years and had been vice president of the party’s Hyderabad chapter for the past eight years.

He had been working as a teacher with Jamia Arabia Miftahul Uloom for the past 20 years and was also running a seminary for girls in Gulshan Khair Mohammad, he said.

He said it was injustice to arrest an “innocent religious scholar” without any charge.

“We have also suffered terrorism. The party head Fazlur Rehman and leader Abdul Ghafoor Hyderi came under terror attacks and Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro was assassinated in a murderous attack,” he said.

He said the JUI-F always condemned terrorism and demanded arrest of attackers of MQM leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan.

JUI-F Hyderabad leader Maulana Azam Jehangiri and others were also present at the press conference.https://www.dawn.com/news/1356268/jui-f-seeks-safe-recovery-of-missing-leader

Four hunters from Punjab kidnapped in Pannu Aqil : Report in Dawn, September 8th, 2017
SUKKUR: The Sukkur police on Thursday launched a search for the four hunters from Punjab who had been kidnapped in the katcha area of Pannu Aqil a day earlier.

SSP Masud Bungash told reporters that the victims belonging to Sadiqabad had been to the katcha area for bird hunting.

He quoted initial investigation to suggest that criminals belonging to the Kashmore-based Teghani community had kidnapped them in an area falling within the jurisdiction of the Sadhuja police station. He identified the victims as Rizwan, Shamsher, Irfan and Ajmal.

The SSP said that armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and other vehicles carrying a strong contingent of the Sukkur police had been moved into the area for the safe recovery of the victims and arrest of their kidnappers.

It was learnt that the hunters had arrived in the katcha area three days back on an invitation from a local feudal lord.https://www.dawn.com/news/1356267/four-hunters-from-punjab-kidnapped-in-pannu-aqil

September 8, 2017   No Comments

LEAs bust Ansar al Sharia net work: Report in The Nation, September 08, 2017

MULTAN – Security agencies rounded up at least seven suspected persons from South Punjab for their alleged links to a terrorist outfit Ansar al Sharia in a crackdown on Wednesday and Thursday, sources said.

The Counter-Terrorism Department and police carried out joint operations and caught four persons from Multan, one from Dera Ghazi Khan and two from Bahawalpur. Sources further revealed that all the accused were caught on the basis of information provided by Talha Ansari, an alleged associate of the terrorist group, who was caught a day earlier by the police. He was arrested from Delhi Gate area of the walled city Multan. Sources claimed that four out of seven accused had got training from Afghanistan and they were planning to carry out attacks on pattern of Karachi killings in South Punjab. The arrested persons have been shifted to undisclosed place for investigation.
http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Sep-2017/leas-bust-ansar-al-sharia-net-work

September 8, 2017   No Comments

State still running extremism factories: Afrasiab

Report in The News,September 8, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Awami National Party central leader and former senator Afrasiab Khattak has said the state is still running ‘factories of extremism’ in the country, and the phenomenon cannot be ended in society until the process is continuing.

He was speaking to BBC Urdu in connection with its special interview series, titled Vision Pakistan, being conducted on completion of 70 years of Pakistan’s establishment. Afrasiab Khattak declared General Ziaul Haq’s jihad policy responsible for the increase in extremism in the country, adding that at that time the state had become extremist, and it radicalised society. “How a society can be de-radicalised if the state continues running factories of radicalisation,” he asked.

When he was asked what evidence he had to prove that the state was doing it, the ANP leader said “the way Taliban are living in this country, and the banned groups are holding demonstrations and rallies in the country, and no action is being taken against them, that shows that there are some powers patronising them”.

He said no action was being taken against these outfits intentionally and a lack of political will was responsible for it. “Especially in Punjab, action has not been taken against them where the creators of jihadi and extremist ideologies are living”.

He believes that the reason for inaction against such elements is that “if you want to continue the old Afghan policy, you will need non-state actors. “And the second reason is that action against such outfits is being avoided for political considerations and for safeguarding some vote pockets, especially in Punjab. So they are compromising the national interests for political considerations”.

He said Sartaj Aziz had admitted it on record last year that Taliban leadership was living in Pakistan. He said it was not an allegation, as a responsible government functionary had stated it.

When he was asked if the Taliban leadership was still living in Pakistan, he said: “certainly, as nobody has denied it so far”. Afrasiab Khattak said civilians also played a role in the ills afflicting the country currently, but the dictators played havoc with the law of the land the most.

“There exist some remedies for the ills, caused by the civilians, but the worst thing is imposition of a martial law in a country. “And, of course, civilians can’t impose a martial law. Violation of basic laws of a country causes lawlessness. Even corruption also spread in the country due to martial laws,” he added.

In reply to a question about an assertion the dictators make that the country made progress during dictatorial rules and that the civilian rulers only looted the country whenever they formed a governments, the ANP leader rejected the claim. “You just look at the results of that so-called development and the so-called stability in the country.

“After General Ayub Khan’s 10 years martial law, Pakistan disintegrated; Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report is still not published; no investigation was conducted into Kargil incident; Abbottabad Commission report was not made public. Had these reports been made public, the people like General Musharraf would not found an opportunity to say such things.”

About Balochistan issue, Afrasiab Khattak said his party did not support any violent movement or separatism. However, he claimed that atrocities were being committed in Balochistan. He said the state institutions could not come clean out of the allegations of their involvement in killings in Balochistan in the presence of missing persons issue and the recovery of bodies. “There are various proofs that they have been involved in it. That’s why it’s a responsibility of the state that it must make laws for protection of its citizens.”
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/228562-State-still-running-extremism-factories-Afrasiab

September 8, 2017   No Comments

Punjab home secy directed to decide detained JuD leaders representation

report in The News, Sept 8, 2017
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday directed the Punjab home secretary to decide by Sept 11 a representation of Jamatud Dawa (Jud) chief Hafiz Saeed and its four other leaders against their detention. Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi passed the order on a writ petition of the JuD leaders challenging their detention orders issued on July 28, 2017, under Section 1 of Section 3 of Maintenance of Public Order, 1960, for a period of next 60 days.

Advocate AK Dogar appeared on behalf of the petitioners and stated that there was no evidence whatsoever that the petitioners were planning to spread chaos in the country or that they had planned violent demonstrations. He said the government in the impugned detention orders had only shown apprehension against the petitioners. However, he said, under the law no presumption and assumption could give rise to any apprehension unless it was supported by some piece of evidence. The counsel argued that an order of preventive detention had to satisfy the requirements laid down by the Supreme Court in its many judgments, but in the instant case blatant violation of laws had been committed by the government. He said imprisonment without trial and conviction was prima facie unlawful and unconstitutional.

Advocate Dogar also alleged that the government detained the petitioners to please India and America only as different courts of the country in the past had already declared detention of JuD leaders illegal after government failed to prove its charges. He told the court that a departmental representation against the detention was filed before the home secretary on Aug 3 but no action had been taken so far. He asked the court to set aside the impugned detention orders for being issued without lawful authority and of no legal effect.

A law officer told the court that the home secretary was set to hear the petitioners’ representation on Sept 11. At this, Justice Naqvi adjourned the hearing of the writ petition till Sept 12, directing the home secretary to decide the representation of the petitioners on the given date. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/228546-Punjab-home-secy-directed-to-decide-detained-JuD-leaders-representation

September 8, 2017   No Comments