KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday expressed grave concern over under trial police officers for enjoying field postings across Sindh.
The court directed IGP Sindh to submit comprehensive report regarding the current postings of these officials, disciplinary actions, if any taken against them and the reasons as to why the prosecution has not yet concluded the matter.
A larger bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Jawad S Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani and Justice Amir Hani Muslim on Thursday continued the hearing of Karachi law and order suo motu implementation case at the apex court’s Karachi registry.
At outset of the hearing, the court inquired about the mechanism by which the law enforcers protect the witnesses. To which, counsel, Shah Khawer, appearing on behalf of the IGP said that the inspector general of police had constituted a committee consisting of the police officials of the Special Branch, CID and Crime Branch for taking measures to protect witnesses and a special cell has been made.
The court in reply to the counsel remarked that if you have made such efforts then why prosecution witnesses in journalist’s murder were killed.
The court observed that it had directed that protection should be provided to witnesses and prosecutor shall be appointed in Anti-Terrorism Court in highly transparent manner. However, the court went on saying that reply submitted does not give any on-ground particulars about statement for witness protection.
IGP Sindh submitted that people were not ready to testify in courts. To which, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain said why people would do so as their confidence in the law enforcement agencies had diminished since it had been politicized.
The court said that turf war between the political parties for mere political gains had also aggravated the law and order situation in the city. It said that police is not able to protect their own force. The bench remarked that due to prevailing law and order situation in the city many traders had shifted.
Prosecutor general informed the court that 11 prosecutors had been appointed through the public service commission in pursuance of court’s judgment. The court also inquired about progress into its order regarding 1.4 million illegal immigrants residing in the city. The IGP told that only 1.2 million immigrants including Afghanis and Bangalis are living in Karachi.
However, he added that the federal government had given Afghan refugees six-month time.
The court observed that it had directed IGP that he should set up a special joint cell with specialized officials and experts along with sufficient manpower to establish several teams to visit the spots and identify illegal foreigners so that they may be dealt with strictly in accordance with law.
It said that such exercise needed to be carried out in one month but IGP Sindh had failed to do so.
The court came down heavily on the deputy attorney general, Jawed Farooqi, for not filing comments regarding implementations of its orders. It scolded him and said: “We do not need you if you are not answering our questions”.
The court inquired about reports of judicial commission regarding the law and order situation in the city. To which, Home Secretary Waseem Ahmed replied that he is not aware about the number of inquires, adding 15 reports such inquires had been traced.
The court observed that home secretary appears to be unaware of judicial reports made on Karachi killings since 1995.
The bench expressed displeasure over it as saying that statement of the home secretary appears to be extraordinary.
The court said that according to report prepared by member of inspection team-2 (MIT-2) of the Sindh High Court, over 400 policemen are involved in criminal activities in the metropolis. It inquired about the field postings of the those police officials involved in the heinous crimes including section 302 of PPC Qatl-e-Amd (intentional and deliberate murder).
The IGP Sindh replied that he was heading the police force of one lac employees, therefore, he told court that he don’t know about field postings of those 400 police officers involved in the crimes.
The IGP’s reply irked the Judges who said that we are surprised that IG Sindh is indifferent about the postings of such police officers of his department. Justice Amir Hani Muslim said that police officials appeared to be apathetic to put their own house in order. He added that then how these officials will be able to identify and apprehend the criminals.
The court said that it represents an alarming and dangerous break-down of the administration of the police department prima facie.
The hearing of case was put off till February 25.