A source in the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) told DawnNews that it has finalised “responses” and “arguments” to be presented in the Supreme Court in response to a report probing the Quetta Civil Hospital carnage.
The source said Nacta’s response to the report had been sent to Nisar. “Hopefully, he will submit the response to the Supreme Court in a day or two,” a senior Nacta official said.
The interior minister, the petitioner in the case, will be represented by advocate Makhdoom Ali Khan in the apex court.
A Nacta official, on the condition of anonymity, told DawnNews that top ministry officials advised the interior minister against challenging the report of the apex court.
“But he was adamant on challenging the report and tasked us to prepare strong arguments in response to the allegations levelled against the interior ministry and the minister,” the official said.
On Aug 8, 2016, a suicide bomber targeted the emergency services ward at Quetta’s Civil Hospital, killing at least 74 people and leaving scores injured.
A report of a judicial commission, comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court, on the massacre had criticised the interior minister for meeting with the heads of some banned groups to listen to their demands.
In a press conference in December 2016, Nisar addressed his critics, saying that though “people were [against him] speaking about the report”, he was adamant to “clear the matter and bring [forward] the other side of the story”.
He had also said that he has been “bashed” about his political and personal conduct, and that he would tackle that criticism in the coming days.
Key recommendations of Quetta inquiry report
• The National Action Plan should be made into a proper plan, with clear goals, a comprehensive monitoring mechanism, and periodic reviewing.
• Nacta (National Counter Terrorism Authority) must be activated. It must do what the Nacta Act mandates.
• The public space needs to be reclaimed to counteract the virulent propaganda of the terrorists. The laws and Constitution need to be reestablished and the state must re-exert itself.
• The Anti-Terrorism Act needs to be enforced, and terrorists/terrorist organisations must be proscribed without delay.
• The federal and Balochistan governments must develop and maintain a databank with information or perpetrators/suspects of heinous crimes and terrorists organisations.
• Forensic laboratories should be not under the jurisdiction of the police, but of scientists. The results/tests should be uploaded in a central databank and easily accessed from any province.
• All crime scenes should be professionally secured, forensically examined and extensively photographed as soon as possible.
• Protocols or standard operating procedures should be developed with the help of experts.
• The shortcomings of the hospital, government of Balochistan and police need to be addressed and removed.
• All educational institutions, including madaris, need to be registered.
• Entry into and departure from Pakistan needs to be properly monitored; all persons must have the requisite documentation.
• The customs authorities should ensure that contraband is not brought into the country.
• If the media broadcasts and propagates the views of terrorists, then those doing so must be prosecuted in accordance with the law.
• The amount of compensation for the legal heirs of the deceased and for the injured should be expeditiously distributed. -DN
THE PASHTUN TIMES