ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court was moved on Monday to take notice of the contacts launched by the Interior Ministry with the banned outfits for the release of a group of dangerous prisoners convicted for terrorist acts.
Shahid Orakzai who has filed a petition under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution said such contacts were made in Adiala Jail last week by an ex-MNA of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Javed Paracha.
He said Javed Paracha is neither an elected representative nor the office holder of any political party. “No federal or provincial notification about his appointment to any public office exists. Only Ch Nisar can explain under what authority of law he has been engaged by the federation to talk to the criminals,” he said.
The ex-MNA claimed negotiations between the Interior Ministry and the insurgents have already begun and the prisoners in Adiala and elsewhere are being located with the approval of the ministry.
Orakzai made Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, ex-PML-N MNA Javed Paracha, the federation through the interior secretary and the Punjab government through its home secretary respondents. He prayed to the court to stop the federal government from negotiating with any person claiming to be a citizen of Pakistan but defying the Constitution of the country and direct the federation to take prior permission from this court for any political act to be done regarding resolution of the All Parties Conference.
He further prayed to the apex court to direct the federal government to remove Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar for breach of oath and declare that the federal government cannot recommend collective pardon or remission to any group of prisoners convicted for murders or facing trials for attacks on the security forces.
He requested the SC to order the Punjab and all the other provinces not to identify such prisoners and their locations to any officer of the federal government without prior permission of the court.
The petitioner raised the questions whether the federal or provincial government could negotiate with any group of convicts or under-trial prisoners for their release in violation of Article 45. “Is a federal minister facilitating such illegal contacts inside a prison working within the law?” he questioned.
Shahid Orakzai said: “The interior minister is well aware that the same ex-MNA has also been identified in the Peshawar High Court as the mastermind behind the jailbreak in Bannu in April 2012 when 384 prisoners escaped. Thereafter, in another attack on Dera Ismail Khan Central Jail, 248 prisoners were let off. The two attacks did strengthen the insurgents.”
He said: “The ex-MNA last week reportedly held meetings with 50 prisoners who were either convicted or are facing trials in Adiala Jail for terrorist acts. He questioned how the Punjab government facilitated these contacts.
“Prior to his negotiations with the prisoners allegedly for five hours, the ex-MNA held a meeting in Islamabad with the interior minister and a high-ranking intelligence official. The two publicised moves have closely followed the decisions taken at the recent All Parties Conference and seen as part of the theme,” the petitioner claimed.
“Article 45 empowers the President to grant pardon, reprieve and respite or to remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court. The Supreme Court may ask the respondent ministry if it has moved any summary to the President about any specific prisoner or any group of prisoners in the Adiala Jail,” he concluded.