SC order sought against talks with militants

Published May 29, 2013
The Supreme Court of Pakistan.—File Photo
The Supreme Court of Pakistan.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: A petition filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a declaration against negotiations by any person, civilian or military, with a private army forbidden under article 225 of the constitution.

In his petition moved under the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on the enforcement of the fundamental rights, Shahid Orakzai asked how could the armed forces propose a truce/ceasefire/end of hostilities to the rebels on the territory of Pakistan?

The petitioner also asked whether a citizen was empowered by the constitution to negotiate peace with a private army waging war on Pakistan.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) through its chairman and Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam have been made respondents in the petition.

Mr Orakzai requested the court to order the JCSC chairman to pre-empt any contact/dialogue/negotiations on the territory of Pakistan between the enemy and any politico-religious person/party advocating peace with the enemy. The ISI chief should also be directed to identify people who were in contact with the Taliban as well as their mode of communication. The petitioner requested the court to direct the JCSC chairman to call a meeting of the committee to identify the areas from where the rebels were threatening the security of Pakistan and report the action taken against them.

He said he intended to seek an instant halt to the double-crossing move of some politico-religious elements to impose a disgraceful armistice, call it semi-surrender, on the bleeding armed forces of the country. These elements were in fact seeking religious and moral victory for the Taliban rebels, he contended.

“This court this hour is duty bound to ask why the armed forces are being compelled to raise a white flag. Why is the national flag being pulled down only a few steps from victory?” he asked.

Mr Orakzai argued that members of the armed forces could not engage themselves in any political activity. “And that means both individually and collectively. The so-called peace talks are nothing but politics and seek a reversal of the state policy under the two previous political governments,” he said.

“The armed forces have not lost any ground or territory to the revels nor have they lost the will to fight,” the petition said, adding that the court could seek their opinion from the JCSC chairman. It said the court also needed to discover how the Taliban suddenly thought of peace talks just a few days before the elections and nominated three guarantors to bridge the credibility gap with the government and the armed forces. “Even thereafter the rebels have shown no respite and tried their utmost to disrupt the elections through bloodshed,” the petition said.

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