Wednesday February 21, 2024

Statements recording schedule in APS case: Judicial Commission issues reminder to Ministry of Defence

January 22, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Judicial Commission holding an inquiry into the terrorist attack on the Army Public School on Monday issued a reminder to the Ministry of Defence to give a schedule for recording the statements of the military officers.

“The Judicial Commission is seeking a schedule from the Ministry of Defence to record the statements of the military officers within three days,” Imranullah, focal person for the Judicial Commission, told The News. He said a letter was issued on January 11 to the Ministry of Defence for giving a schedule for the appearance of the military officers before the commission.

He said the commission did not receive any reply from the Ministry of Defence and this was the reason a reminder was being issued. "After recording the statement of representative of Ministry of Defence, the commission considers the following persons relevant to the APS incident as essential consequential witnesses so as to ensure thorough probe as per the grievances of complainants in light of the direction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan," stated the letter sent to the Ministry of Defence by the Judicial Commission.

The secretary, Judicial Commission, Inamullah Wazir, had sent the letter to the Ministry of Defence for the appearance of the retired Corps Commander Peshawar, Lt-Gen Hidayatur Rehman, who was patron-in-chief of the Army Public School and College at the time of the APS attack, Brigadier Mudassir Azam, who was chairman, Board of Governors (BoG) of the school, Brigadier Inayatullah of 11-Corps, Major Dr Asim Shahzad of the Army Medical College and secretary, BoG Major Imran, for recording their statements.

The letter pointed out that the proceedings of the Judicial Commission were time-bound as it had to submit its report accordingly to the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The focal person said Inspector General of Police, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Salahuddin Mehsud, who was heading the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of the police at the time of the APS incident, would appear before the commission on January 23 for recording his statement as a consequential witness.

He said Suhail Khalid, the then SP CTD Peshawar, would appear before the commission on January 24 as an essential consequential witness. Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, head of the Judicial Commission, had also visited the APS in Peshawar where he was briefed by its administration about the attack.

As many as 147 people, including 132 students were martyred in the attack by the six militants affiliated with the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on December 16, 2014. The newly appointed Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa would hear and give a decision in the APS attack suo moto case in the light of the inquiry report.

The former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mian Saqib Nisar, had on October 5 last year ordered the formation of the commission during his visit to Supreme Court’s Peshawar Registry after hearing grievances of the parents, mostly mothers of the martyred students. They had requested formation of a judicial commission to probe the APS carnage.