Collective release of terrorists: SC moved for sacking interior minister
24 September, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has been moved for the sacking of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Through a constitutional petition the court was told that the Interior Ministry was collecting particulars in connection with collective release of terrorists and accused persons, and one of former National Assembly member of PML-N had held talks with the 50 prisoners in Adiala jail.
The petition further said that Article 45 of the constitution does not empower the president to grant en-masse immunity. The petitioner asked the Supreme Court to issue a stay order against the talks being held in this connection besides inquiring from the Interior Ministry if it has sent any summary to the president for the release of prisoners.
Shahid Orakzai has filed the petition under Article 184 (3) of the constitution, making Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Javed Paracha, ex-MNA, interior secretary and Punjab home secretary as respondents. The petitioner requested the court to restrain the federal government from engaging in negotiation with any person claiming to be a citizen but defying the constitution. "Instruct Punjab and all other provinces not to identify such prisoners and their location to any officer of the federal government without prior permission of the court," he pleaded.
The applicant questioned whether the federal or provincial government could negotiate with any group of convicts or under-trial prisoners for their release in violation of Article 45. "Will a federal minister facilitating such illegal contacts inside a prison would be working within the law?" he has asked. Orakzai contended that the interior minister was well aware that Javed Paracha had also been identified before the Peshawar High Court as the mastermind behind the jail break in Bannu in April 2012 wherein 384 prisoners escaped. Thereafter, in another attack on Central Jail Dera Ismail Khan 248 prisoners were freed.
He stated that ex-MNA Paracha last week reportedly held a political meeting with some 50 prisoners in Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail who were either convicted or facing trial for terrorist acts. Orakzai questioned how the government facilitated this contact. He said that Paracha had held a meeting in Islamabad with the interior minister and a high-ranking intelligence official.
Orakzai said that there is no federal or provincial notification about his appointment to any public office. Only the respondent minister can explain under what authority or law has he been engaged/employed by the federation as a go-between with criminals. He stated that the ex-MNA claims that negotiations between the Interior Ministry and the insurgents have already begun and the prisoners, in Adiala and elsewhere, are being located with due approval of the ministry.
Referring to Article 45 which empowers the president to grant pardon, reprieve and respite or remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court, the petitioner said that the court may ask the Interior Ministry if it has moved any summary to the president about any specific prisoner or any group of prisoners in the Adiala Jail. He stated that the court should prevent contacts with the dangerous prisoners and their banned outfits. He also requested the court to instruct Punjab to take disciplinary action against the Adiala Jail superintendent.