CTD ordered to make public information about Army Public School massacre

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Monday, 12 February 2018

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) disposed of a writ petition filed by the father of a student martyred in the 2014 Army Public School (APS) carnage with a directive to the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) to make public all the information related to the attack.

A PHC bench comprising Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Syed Afsar Shah, however, turned down a request of the petitioner to order a judicial inquiry into the APS incident, observing that it was the mandate of the provincial government to take such a decision. It observed that the court would send the petition to the government with a request to take a decision on the demand for such an inquiry.
The petition filed by Advocate Ajun Khan, father of martyred student Asfand Khan, had sought a directive for the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to make public all the information related to the APS carnage and the action taken by them after receiving the intelligence report some four months before the terrorist attack on the school.
The petitioner said that consequent upon the information of an apparent terrorist attack on the APS it was a fundamental right of the students and their parents to know about the same and non-communication of this information amounted to violation of the fundamental rights of the parents.
Petitioner had claimed that timely steps had not been taken to deal with the threats faced by institution
Advocate Khan said the National Counter Terrorism Authority had on Aug 28, 2014, through a letter informed the KP government and additional chief secretary of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas that the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan commander, in collaboration with others, had made a plan to carry out terrorist activities against the APS/college and other educational institutions run by the Pakistan Army so as to kill maximum number of children of army officers/soldiers in order to avenge the killing of their accomplices.
On Thursday, CTD’s investigation officer Mohammad Fazil submitted a record of the case in compliance with the court’s earlier order.
The bench observed that it was a duty of the execution agency [CTD] to satisfy the public about the steps taken by it in this regard, adding that the respondents, including CTD officials, were public functionaries and had to inform the public about steps taken by them in such important cases.
The court directed that the DIG concerned of the CTD, in consultation with the investigation officer, should make public the information related to the APS incident, including the steps taken by them.
About the petitioner’s request to provide him record of the case, the bench observed that he could approach the commissioner under the Right to Information Act to get the record.
Moreover, the bench directed a focal person in the “missing persons” case, Saleem Khan, to get information from the federal interior and defence ministries related to the APS attack as well as information about arrests, if any, and trials of the suspects in the case and inform the petitioner about these.
The petitioner had claimed that necessary action to foil the threat had not been taken by the administration. He asked whether it was an act of criminal negligence or some secret mission or conspiracy that such a sensitive information/intelligence report had been ignored which resulted in the unforgettable incident of the terrorist attack on the APS on Dec 16, 2014, which left 144 students and some staffers martyred.

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