ISLAMABAD: All eight judges of Islamabad High Court (IHC) have received letters laced with a suspicious toxic chemical.

This was disclosed by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq while hearing the appeals of former prime minister Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

He told the open court that the letters probably laced with toxic chemical anthrax were delivered to all the judges in the high court through ordinary mail of Pakistan Post.

The sender, Resham Khatun, wife of Waqar Hussain, did not mention any details of her whereabouts, therefore, the investigators are of the view that the dispatcher is fake. The letter was delivered in white envelopes sealed with sellotape.

The names of the judges and address of the IHC had been written on the envelopes.

Sources said the letter carried a threatening sign and accused the judges of being responsible for problems faced by the people of Pakistan.

The staff of two judges opened the envelope and found suspicious powder inside. The matter was reported to the IHC registrar who summoned the police staff deputed for security of the high court.

Sources said senior puisne judge Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani directed the IHC registrar for registration of a First Information Report (FIR).

Initially, the Secretariat police were asked to register the FIR but the case was later referred to the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).

Meanwhile, the Counter-Terrorism Department of the capital police has registered a case against unidentified sender(s) of the letters to the judges of the Islamabad High Court.

The case was registered at the police station of the CTD under section 7 of Anti Terrorism Act and Section 507 of PPC in response to a complaint lodged by an official of the IHC’s R & I (Receipt and Issue) department Qadir Ahmed, a duty clerk, sources told Dawn.

The investigators took the custody of the letters, and some amount of powder has been taken from all letter for sampling, they said, adding that the sample will be sent to the National Forensic Science Laboratory Islamabad on Wednesday (today) for toxicological and chemical tests and analysis.

Some of the police officials who came into contact with the powder faced side effects, including irritation, the sources added.

On Wednesday (today) the investigators will also visit IHC and interrogate the officials of the I & R Branch, they said, adding the letters only have the address of the receivers, but there was no address of the sender(s).

During the meeting with the I & R staff the investigators will also try to investigate the procedure of delivering the letters to the

IHC, the sources said, adding that through the meeting it will also investigate from which post office and city the letters were sent.

The letters have a stamp worth Rs30, besides, a stamp of a post office, they added.

According to the FIR the letters were received on April 1 and distributed on April 2 by naib qasid Ikram Ullah. Eight letters addressed to Chief Justice of IHC and other judges were also delivered to their personal secretaries, it added.

The letters were issued with incomplete address of the sender, the FIR said, The letters while giving reference of Tehreek-i-Namoos Pakistan criticised the justice system, it said, adding that a particular photo and English word “Bacillus Anthracis” were included in the letters for the threat.

PRO for the police when contacted confirmed that the case has been registered at the CTD police station.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2024

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