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Lessons learned from Islamabad standoff, Interior Secy tells SC

- August 23, 2013 - Updated 1540 PKT - From Web Edition

ISLAMABAD: Interior Secretary, Qamar Zaman Chaudhry told the Supreme Court on Friday that several lessons were learnt from the standoff in the federal capital.


During proceedings of the Islamabad standoff case, the interior secretary said that in the future if a similar situation arose it would be dealt with in a better manner. Interior Secretary Chaudhry informed the court that the Islamabad standoff was an administrative matter which should have been resolved at the administrative level. He said that an investigation committee had been formed and its report on the incident was awaited.


District Magistrate, Amir Ali appearing before the three-member bench hearing the case accepted complete responsibility for the incident adding that the assistant commissioner had contacted Sikander’s wife Kanwal at 5:00PM on the day of the standoff.


Chief Justice, Ifitkhar Muhamamd Chaudhry asked why steps were not taken to control the media during the incident. He inquired why the district magistrate had not contacted PEMRA, adding that PEMRA’s chairman appeared helpless during the entire episode. “Maybe PEMRA is not aware of the laws,” Chief Justice Chaudhry remarked.


Justice Khawaja remarked that TV channels are bound to abide by directives issued by PEMRA. “Sikander could not have achieved such fame even if he spent millions.”


The district magistrate admitted in court that no contact was made with the media to stop coverage of the standoff. The chief justice remarked that the district magistrate had informed the apex court about the failure of the police.


IG Police, Sikander Hayat informed that the court that the police force had one stun gun which was found to be faulty. On this, Justice Khawaja remarked that a dope gun used to sedate animals could have been used, inquiring if the zoo administration had been contacted.


The hearing of the case was adjourned till September 5.

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