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NDMA, Punjab CM responsible for Murree tragedy: IHC

By News Desk
January 22, 2022
NDMA, Punjab CM responsible for Murree tragedy: IHC

ISLAMABAD: If another tragedy, like the one in Murree, takes place, the National Disaster Management Commission will be responsible for it, Justice Athar Minallah, chief justice of the Islamabad High Court, has ruled, local media reported.

On Friday, Attorney General Khalid Jawed told the court that action against those found responsible for the disaster has started. “A session of the National Disaster Management Commission, too, will soon be called,” he reassured. It might take some time because the forum is huge and members are unavailable. “If the need arises, we will conduct the session via circulation.”

At the previous hearing, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)’s Idrees Khan Mehsud had revealed that their last meeting was held in 2018. The court had, subsequently, directed the prime minister to call a commission meeting in a week and identify those responsible for the Murree tragedy. It had remarked that the authority was responsible for every death that took place.

On January 21, Justice Minallah asked if Punjab has a separate disaster management commission. The attorney-general replied that the district and provincial governments manage Murree.

No. It was Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s responsibility [for arrangements in the hill station], the chief justice said, adding that if NDMA followed its principles, such a disaster wouldn’t happen.

The court then said that it will pass a written verdict which will clarify that for any Murree-like incidents in the future, NDMA will be responsible.

The NDMC is chaired by the prime minister and its members include opposition leaders in the Senate and National Assembly, defence minister, health minister, foreign minister, finance minister, interior minister, social welfare and special education minister, communication minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor, chief ministers of all four provinces and Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Kashmir’s prime minister, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee or his or her nominee, the NDMA chairman and a civil society representative.