PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Tuesday directed the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to file separate replies to the request of the father of a student martyred in the 2014 Peshawar Army Public School militant attack that his statement be recorded by those probing the carnage.
Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Mohammad Ghazanfar Khan directed both the governments to clearly say if they have any objection to the plea of Fazal Khan, father of Umar Khan, and fixed hearing for July 6.
The bench was hearing two petitions filed by the fathers of two slain APS students.
Slain student’s father wants investigators to record his statement
One petition was filed by slain student Asfand Khan’s father Ajun Khan, seeking the court’s orders for the federal and provincial governments to make public all information related to the APS carnage and the action taken by them after getting intelligence in Aug 2014 about the school attack.
In the other petition, Fazal Khan has requested the court to order the inclusion of the provisions of law related to criminal negligence in the carnage FIR registered at the counter-terrorism department police station.
He said he personally went to the CTD police station several times for recording his statement but the staff members didn’t accept his request.
The petitioner made the provincial police officer, Peshawar capital city police officer, home secretary and other officials respondents in the petition and said the responsibility of criminal negligence on part of officials should be fixed.
Qazi Mohammad Anwar, lawyer for Fazal Khan, said despite repeated requests, the relevant investigation agencies didn’t recorded his client’s statement about the APS killings.
Additional advocate general Waqar Ahmad Khan, who represented the provincial government, said personally speaking, he had no objection to the petitioner’s plea but what was needed to be looked at the possible ‘effect of the statement at this stage’.
Naveed Akhtar, lawyer for Ajun Khan, said his client wanted a judicial inquiry into the carnage to fix responsibility of negligence.
Mother of deceased student Asfand Khan also told bench she and other families needed justice and wanted to know how the terrorist incident took place in a very sensitive area though there was intelligence about it.
She called for a judicial inquiry into the carnage.
The bench observed that the ordering of a judicial inquiry was the mandate of the provincial government and that the demand for it was not mentioned as a prayer in the petition.
Naveed Akhtar insisted that earlier, the Supreme Court had constituted an inquiry commission regarding a Quetta bombing, which killed scores of lawyers.
The bench observed that the order in question was made by the Supreme Court and if the petitioner wanted a judicial inquiry, he could also move the apex court.
Ajun Khan claimed that on Aug 28, 2014, the National Counter Terrorism Authority Islamabad had informed the provincial government and Fata additional chief secretary in writing that the commander of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan in collaboration with other militant outfits had planned terrorist activities in APS and other Pakistan Army-run educational institutions to kill the children of army officers and soldiers to avenge the killing of their activists.
Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2017