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Pakistan

Web Desk
September 17, 2020

Sajid Gondal case: PM should know what citizens are facing in Islamabad, says CJ Minallah

Pakistan

Web Desk
Thu, Sep 17, 2020
The judge observed that no action was being taken for the protection of the ordinary citizens but that "everything is happening for the elite". The News/via Geo.tv/Files

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's prime minister should know what is happening to ordinary citizens in the federal capital, Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah said Thursday.

In a hearing at the IHC over the alleged disappearance and subsequent recovery of Sajid Gondal — the additional joint director of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) who returned home on Sept 8 almost a week after he went missing — Justice Minallah told an interior ministry representative to apprise the premier of what was going on in the federal capital.

During the hearing, Additional Attorney General Tariq Mehmood Khokhar presented a report on Gondal's recovery to the IHC on the Centre's behalf.

"Sajid Gondal has been recovered and has returned" to his home, Khokhar told the court.

"What had happened to Sajid Gondal? What has been ascertained," the IHC's top judge asked.

"The federal cabinet took notice on the second day of the court order," the assistant AGP responded.

Noting that the credit went to Prime Minister Imran Khan for taking notice of the matter, Minallah asked: "Where is the copy of the decision of the federal cabinet? What has been done for ordinary citizens?

"What happened to the prosecution branch in Islamabad? Has it been established? Now that the missing citizen has returned, is the case over?"

The judge further lambasted the interior ministry official, saying the home secretary should have come to the court to apprise it of what had transpired.

"Shouldn't the interior secretary have come to the court to tell what he did to help in recovery of the missing person," he asked.

The judge observed that no action was being taken for the protection of the ordinary citizens but that "everything is happening for the elite".

"The attitude of the police towards the common people is different," he lamented, noting that parallel courts were set up in shops in district kutcheris, warning that citizens would eventually lose faith in the system of police stations.

"A kidnapping case was brought to the notice of the prime minister, on which he took action. The rest of the issues should have been brought to the notice of the prime minister as well," he said.

Speaking of a spat between Additional Sessions Judge Jahangir Awan and the husband of Punjab lawmaker Abida Raja in Islamabad's Red Zone, Minallah asked: "If the firing incident in the Red Zone had been committed by a common person, would the SHO [station house officer] have let him go?

"Had there been civilians [involved] in the Red Zone altercation, would the police have let them go," he asked further.

"You know full well that there have been robberies in people's homes in Sectors F-8 and F-10. The prime minister should know what is happening to ordinary citizens!

"If you have any advisers in your ministry, let the prime minister know what is happening in Islamabad," the IHC's top judge remarked. "Give a complete record to the adviser who will assist this court."