A police constable of Islamabad Police shot and injured the landlord of his house in Saadpur village on Tuesday, and then registered a case under the recently promulgated Pakistan Protection Ordinance (PPO) against the man.
The incident bolsters reservations expressed by human rights’ organisations, such as Human Rights Watch and HRCP that the law would undermine fundamental civilian rights and could be misused by security personnel.
According to report, police constable Hanif Akmal was a tenant in Ghafoor’s house and had not paid the rent for several months. A dispute arose between the two over the non-payment of rent and the police constable opened fire at Akmal, injuring him critically.
The police constable then reportedly got an FIR registered against the victim under PPO, while the applications submitted by the relatives of the victim were rejected.
The PPO, which was termed by many as a “draconian” and “repressive” law gives unbridled power to security agencies.
The law allows a grade-15 or higher official to give shoot at sight orders and allows the government to “authorize the detention of a person for a period… that shall not exceed ninety days if in the opinion of the government such person is acting in a manner prejudicial to the integrity, security, defense of Pakistan”.
Anyone facing charges under the ordinance must demonstrate his or her innocence to a court – reversing the usual legal burden of proof.