Pakistan PM Imran Khan appears before Supreme Court in school massacre case: Court asks 'Are we surrendering to militants?'
Pakistan Prime Minister on Wednesday said a National Action Plan was introduced after the 2014 Army Public School (APS) massacre in which 132 children were killed by Muslim extremists, but expressed helplessness and wondered aloud as to what else his government, accused of not paying enough attention to security, could have done
Pakistan Prime Minister on Wednesday said a National Action Plan was introduced after the 2014 Army Public School (APS) massacre in which 132 children were killed by Muslim extremists, but expressed helplessness and wondered aloud as to what else his government, accused of not paying enough attention to security, could have done.
Khan appeared before the country's Supreme Court after he was summoned by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed in the school massacre case in which over 140 people were killed. Parents of slain children had urged the apex court to demand answers from the top political and military brass in the incident.
On December 16, 2014, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants had stormed into the school in Peshawar, in which over 140 people, including 132 children, were killed.
PM Khan admitted his party was in power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa when the massacre took place. He said he had met the parents of the slain children when the incident took place but did not speak to them properly at that time, UNI news agency said quoting Pakistani media.
The CJP said, "Parents are asking where was the security system [that day]? Despite our comprehensive orders, nothing was done."
PM Khan replied that a National Action Plan was introduced after the APS massacre, adding that there is "no holy cow" in Pakistan, Geo TV reported.
He said, “There is no sacred cow in the country and I believe in the supremacy of the law...We won the war against terrorism. There were bomb blasts taking place at the time every single day."
Replying to the court's order to ensure implementation of its October 20 verdict, Imran Khan said, "Hold on for a minute, judge sahab. Allah will give patience to the parents of the schoolchildren, what more could the government have done apart from giving compensation?"
Chief Justice Ahmed reminded the PM that seven years have passed since the massacre shook the country. Geo TV quoted Justice Amin as telling Imran Khan that he had now brought the culprits [TTP] of the massacre to the negotiating table.
"Are we about to sign a surrender document once again?" he asked.
According to a report by Geo TV, a hearing of the case took place on Wednesday morning during which the apex court summoned the prime minister to appear before the bench when the hearing resumes at 11:30 am, in his personal capacity.
CJP Ahmed asked Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan whether Imran Khan has read the court's order wherein he had ordered the AG to take action on the complaints filed by the victims' parents.
"The AG has been put on notice on the complaints and asked to take action, as required by the law, and if those who have been named are found guilty of negligence in the performance of their duties, necessary measures should be taken," the order said.
The AG responded by saying he will inform the PM about it.
"Is this the level of seriousness? Call the prime minister, we will talk to him ourselves. This cannot go on," the CJP told AG.
The parents of slain children had urged the apex court to demand answers from the top political and military brass in the incident.
Slamming the intelligence agencies over the 2014 attack, the CJP said, "Where do the intelligence [agencies] disappear when it comes to the protection of their own citizens? Was a case registered against the former army chief and others responsible?"
The attorney general replied that the inquiry report did not find anything related to the former army chief and former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Dawn reported.
"There is such a huge intelligence system in the country. Billions of rupees are spent on it. There is also a claim that we are the best intelligence agency in the world. So much is being spent on intelligence but the results are zero," CJP Ahmed declared.