Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday appeared before the Supreme Court that grilled him over the government’s failure to act against those responsible for the Army Public School (APS) attack in 2014. The court told the PM that he has brought the killers of the APS children to the negotiating table.
When asked about registration of FIRs against top state officials — a demand put forth by parents of the APS victims — the PM told the apex court there were no ‘holy cows’.
The prime minister was summoned to the SC by a three member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad.
Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan were also part of the bench. The bench summoned the PM at 10 AM earlier today, and he arrived two hours later — around noon.
The government had earlier this week announced that a ceasefire with banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) whose militants had attacked the APS in 2014 was reached during the government’s talks with the group.
While referring to the government’s negotiations with the TTP, Justice Amin asked the PM, “Is the army again surrendering to them?”
Chief Justice Gulzar asked the PM what he was doing to act against those behind the APS carnage. “You brought the guilty to the negotiating table,” he said to the PM.
The PM said if the court passed an order the government will ensure its implementation. “There are no holy cows,” he said.
Justice Ahsan, while addressing the PM, said that the apex court wanted to ensure that the parents of the APS children are satisfied with the action being taken. CJ Gulzar asked the PM as to what all has been done by his government over the APS case.
Adjourning the hearing for four weeks, the SC asked the government to submit a progress report at the next hearing.
The parents of the children killed in the APS carnage had moved the SC seeking registration of a case against the top officials of the country including the COAS and DG ISI at the time and requesting a transparent probe into the incident.
During the previous hearing, Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan was directed by the court to do what is necessary — be it registering cases against those responsible.
The APS carnage had claimed the lives of more than 140 people — mostly schoolchildren. A National Action Plan (NAP) detailing the steps to act against terrorists and their facilitators was formulated in the aftermath of the attack, but experts say it was never fully implemented and has now been completely forgotten by the authorities.
The government has been receiving a backlash from heirs of the victims of terror attacks over its negotiations with the banned TTP.