PESHAWAR: Insaf lawyers Forum (ILF), the lawyer wing of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, on Thursday approached Peshawar High Court for constituting a high-powered joint investigation team to probe the incidents of violence across the province on May 9 and 10, killing of ‘innocent’ party workers and several other related issues.

A petition was filed by ILF provincial organiser Qazi Mohammad Anwar, who is also head of the litigations wing, requesting the court to issue order for constituting a joint investigation team (JIT) consisting of retired high ranking police officers, intelligence officers and forensic experts under the supervision of a sitting judge of the high court.

He said that the JIT should conduct an independent forensic investigation into May 9 and 10 protests to fix responsibility and unearth the hidden hands behind the destruction of government properties including Radio Pakistan Peshawar, Chaghi Monument and properties in Swat, Mardan and Swabi.

The petitioner prayed that the JIT should also probe the killing of ‘innocent’ PTI protesters; inhuman treatment with the workers and leaders of party; excessive use of force by police against the protesters; smashing of household items during police crackdowns; and committing of human rights violations against the ‘innocent’ protesters.

Petition seeks details of cases against Azam Swati and Murad Saeed

Respondents in the petition are Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government through law secretary, Caretaker Chief Minister Mohammad Azam Khan, provincial home secretary and inspector general of police.

The petitioner stated that PTI was the largest political party and it always believed in peaceful political struggle including rallies and marches for establishing rule of law in the country.

He stated that after the illegal arrest of PTI’s Chief Imran Khan on May 9, the party workers and leaders started peaceful protests but unfortunately some miscreants managed by hidden hands entered into those protests and damaged public properties to fulfill their nefarious designs.

The petitioner said that police on the instruction of provincial administration started the worst crackdown against PTI leaders and workers by involving them in fabricated cases and physically torturing them, which was the worst example of human rights violations in the history of the country.

He claimed that the provincial administration issued blank detention orders and as soon as PTI workers and leaders were arrested their names were filled in those blank preventive detention orders under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance.

Meanwhile, Qazi Anwar filed a petition in the high court on behalf of Senator Azam Swati and former federal minister Murad Saeed, seeking directives for the provincial government and IGP to provide details of all the FIRs registered against them in the province as well as issuance of their detention orders under the MPO.

The petitioner requested the court to direct the respondents including the provincial government and IGP to not conduct ‘horrifying’ raids on the houses of the two leaders and not arrest them as they would voluntarily surrender to the high court.

He stated that the two leaders had tried their level best to get information regarding any FIR or any order under the preventive detention laws related to them but the respondents including the provincial government and police department refused to provide any information.

He contended that by not providing any information about the reason of conducting raids on the houses and offices of the two leaders, the respondents had been acting in an illegal manner.

He said that both of them were respectable and law abiding citizens and were ready to surrender before the high court but the respondents were not providing any requisite information of any case or any preventive detention order to them.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2023

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