Return of FC personnel to KP: Interior minister, secretary issued contempt notices
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Thursday issued contempt notices to the interior minister and secretary for violating its order for redeployment of Frontier Constabulary platoons to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from other parts of the country.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Khalid Mahmood directed the interior minister and the secretary to submit their respective written replies to the contempt notice and show cause why they should be not proceeded against for committing contempt of the court for disregarding and flouting its clear order issued on Nov 6, 2012.
The bench later fixed the next hearing into the case for Feb 19.
Joint secretary of the interior ministry Akhtar Jan Wazir requested the bench that they should be given at least six months time for the implementation of the court’s order.
He said due to precarious law and order situation in rest of the country and as elections had also been in the offing, the interior ministry was not in a position for redeployment of FC platoons.
When the bench asked about the steps taken by the federal government for implementation of the order, the secretary said work on the order had yet to be initiated.
The bench observed that on Nov 6, it had issued the order after commitments were made by deputy attorney general Mohammad Iqbal Mohmand, deputy secretary of the interior ministry Mohammad Mureed and official of FC Haroonur Rasheed that the need of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province would be fulfilled by withdrawing some platoons in other areas.
It had disposed of the petition of the provincial government for redeployment of FC platoons to the province on Nov 6 directing the three officials to fulfill the commitments within two months.
In light of an earlier order of the court an important meeting was held under the chairmanship of the interior secretary on Oct 22 in Islamabad which was also attended by the additional interior secretary, FC commandant and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home secretary.
In that meeting, it was agreed upon that the current law and order situation in the province required enhancement of deployment of FC to strengthen the provincial government.
When the bench took up for hearing the case on Thursday, it expressed displeasure over the sending of more platoons from this province to Islamabad without the consent of the provincial government during the long march of Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran Dr Tahirul Qadri.
The chief justice observed that instead of following the court order, the interior ministry took away more platoons from the province leaving thousands of the people at the mercy of militants.
The chief justice observed that the FC was a very valuable force raised by the British rulers but the government had turned them into mercenaries by sending them to different areas like Karachi, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad and along with the armed forces in tribal areas. He added that platoons of FC had now been deputed on VIP protocol duties in Islamabad.
The bench observed that the purpose for which FC was raised was primarily to act as a shield between the settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas and now those volatile areas were without that shield as platoons were withdrawn and shifted to other provinces.
The joint secretary said 108 platoons were deputed with army in Fata, 60 platoons were deputed in Sindh, while 35 others were in Islamabad. He added that still vast number of personnel had been deployed in this province apart from several platoons serving with multi national companies in oil and gas fields in Kohat and Karak.