Karachi has become hub of terrorist activities: Chief Justice Pakistan
By: Jamal Khurshid
KARACHI: The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, on Friday said that Karachi, the city of lights and of our great Quaid, had now been facing the challenge of terrorism and what used to be a hub of trade and commerce had now become a “hub of terrorist activities”.
Addressing the inaugural session of a conference on combating terrorism through law organised by the Sindh High Court and SHC Bar association at a hotel, the Chief Justice said that instances of terrorism were the result of the height of intolerance.
When there is lawlessness in any society, “might becomesright”, and the people who lacked weight in their arguments resorted to using force and terror to have their way.
He said that waves of terrorism had not been confined to a particular area, observing that a law and order situation in one part of the world impacted on the law and order situation in other parts of the world as well.
The CJP said that terror threats in the post 9/11 scenario had evolved so much that it had almost become entirely undistinguishable from the earlier phenomenon of sectarian terrorism. “Now the state institutions are also being targeted. Neither any personality nor any institution is immune from such dangers,” he observed.
He said that terrorists had no difficulty in finding local agents in any country where people had been suffering from social injustices and where the rich became richer and the poor got poorer and where the gap between the haves and the have-nots had been increasing day by day.
Referring to the statistics of global terrorism incidents, the Chief Justice observed that there had been an exceptional increase in the number of such incidents and the casualties resulted due to those incidents in the last three years.
“For the period between 1974 and 2007 (33 years), the number of incidents was 2,590 with an average of 78.5 incidents per year,” he pointed out and said that the number of incidents in just three years from 2008 to 2010 was a staggering 1,929 with an average of 643 incidents per year.
He said that record shows that during the three years from 2008 to 2010 the number of people killed and wounded respectively was 4,286 and 8,264 which translated into an average of 1,429 being killed and 2,755 wounded each year during the period.
“This data clearly demonstrates that the phenomenon of terrorism has increased immensely during the years after 2007 and underscores the importance of an effective response.”
The Chief Justice said that people living in PATA and FATA should be given importance, their problems both at the provincial and federal level should be addressed and they should be equally obliged to take part in the mainstream so that no sense of deprivation should flourish in their minds.
He said that the participation of all stakeholders of justice in the conference showed that they were keenly interested in combating the menace of terrorism. The Chief Justice said that the courts indeed had to provide justice to the accused according to the law of the land while the role of investigation agencies in this regard was of crucial importance.
“If investigations are not up to the mark, the proper procedure is not followed and the remaining room is filled with the corruption and bribe, then how the whole responsibility can be thrown on the judge sitting in the courtroom,” he observed.
The Chief Justice dispelled the impression created by some unscrupulous elements who had been trying to give a false impression as if the acquittals of accused of terrorism and other heinous crimes by the anti-terrorism and other courts had been a result of the weakness of the courts.
“I must clear this impression and say that almost all cases of acquittal are the direct consequences of faulty investigation and poor prosecution,” he observed, referring to a report of the Punjab prosecution department that 74 percent of acquittals in terrorism-related cases were the result of defective investigation and negligence at the prosecution stage.
The Chief Justice observed that we as Pakistanis should join hands against terrorism and the entire nation must remain united to tackle this issue.
He appreciated the efforts of the SHC and the SHCBA for organizing the conference and observed that sharing of valuable thought and experiences would culminate in valuable and workable suggestions and recommendations and the same would surely be a step ahead in the advancement of struggle for maintenance of stability, peace, sovereignty and prosperity.
The Sindh High Court Bar Association conferred lifetime achievement award on Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. The Chief Justice dedicated the award to the legal fraternity, the civil society, the media and the lawyers who had sacrificed their lives for upholding the rule of law and the independence of judiciary.