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September 18, 2019

AG tells PHC Actions (in Aid of Civil Powers) extended to entire KP

Peshawar

September 18, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has extended the Actions (in Aid of Civil Powers) to the entire province by issuing “The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Actions (in Aid of Civil Powers) Ordinance 2019, empowering the armed forces to take certain measures for incapacitating the miscreants by interning them during continuation of the actions in-aid of civil power in the whole of province.

The revelations about the issuance of the new ordinance were made by KP Advocate General Shumail Ahmad Butt before a division bench comprising Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Ahmad Ali.

The official submitted a copy of the ordinance in the court and argued that the provincial government had introduced the ordinance by withdrawing the amendments to the law for giving protection to the KP Continuation of Laws in Erstwhile Pata Act, 2018, and KP Continuation of Laws in Erstwhile Fata Act, 2019, which are challenged before the court.

He contended that the writ petition challenging the amended laws had become infructuous as the laws challenged in the court are no more in the field. The petitioner insisted the two laws violated the Constitution and the judgments of superior courts.

The official submitted a copy of an ordinance issued on August 5, this year and informed the court that internment centres are runs through the ordinance in the province including the newly merged districts.

However, both the PHC Chief Justice and petitioner Shabir Hussain Gigyani expressed wonder at knowing about the issuance of an ordinance through the governor as no one is aware of that and it has not been published for the public.

Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court (PHC) Waqar Ahmad Seth observed on Tuesday that it seems the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has imposed martial law by introducing an ordinance to protect the laws, which were enforced in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas, including one governing the internment centres.

The petitioner submitted before the bench that he had also prayed in the petition to restrain the government from adopting another law, which is ultra vires to the Constitution and so is the ordinance.

The bench issued notice to the KP government and directed to submit reply and explain legal position of the ordinance before the court on September 24, the next hearing into the petition, challenging the KP government laws for continuation of the laws to protect the laws, which were enforced in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas, including one governing internment centres.

The petitioner stated the laws were only to empower the armed forces to take actions only in the former Fata and Pata, but now the KP government through this ordinance has empowered the armed forces to take actions against the citizens in the whole of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

In Chapter-IV of the ordinance, the armed forces were empowered to enter and search any property or place where there is any apprehension that miscreants may be hiding or weapons, material or other related suspicious things are kept and the same are likely to be used for any offence under this ordinance.

About the ‘Internment’, it was explained in the ordinance that government or any officer, authorized by it in this behalf, may issue an order of internment and the officer may authorize any officer to issue an order of the internment and such officer shall be deemed as Interning Authority.

It said the Interning Authority shall intern any person who obstructs action ‘in aid of civil power’ in any manner whatsoever or the person if not restrained or incapacitated through internment, shall strengthen miscreants ability to resist the Armed Forces or any law enforcement agency.

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