–Chief justice says there are lessons to be learnt from fall of Dhaka and APS Peshawar tragedy
–Regrets government’s failure to implement much-needed police reforms as envisaged in NAP
ISLAMABAD: As the nation observed the fifth anniversary of the tragic Army Public School (APS) attack and the 48th anniversary of the secession of Dharka on Monday, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa said there are some lessons to be learnt from both tragedies.
Addressing a ceremony in the federal capital, the chief justice said that the fall of Dhaka reminds us that the state should take care of its citizens’ rights. “The freedom movement in West Bengal gained momentum because the state had failed to take care of its people, and it eventually led to the separation of the territory from the rest of the country,” he said, adding that the incident itself reflects that the social contract between the state and its citizens was weak.
The chief justice observed that the Constitution directs the state to ensure that the results of the governance are being delivered to the masses because a state, which comprises the government and the people, is responsible for ensuring the basic rights of the citizens.
“A lack of provision of basic rights jeopardises the integrity of a state. The supremacy of the Constitution and the law guarantees the basic rights of citizens,” he added.
Speaking about the APS tragedy, the chief justice said that in the aftermath of the incident, the National Action Plan (NAP) was devised, which was adopted by the entire nation. “We can perform the best and achieve best results if we get united on the same agenda,” he added.
“Unfortunately, a perception has been created in Pakistan that the police infringe on the rights of citizens rather than protecting them,” the chief justice said while regretting that the governments could not introduce the much-needed police reforms as envisaged in the National Action Plan (NAP).
Speaking at the lunch, CJP-designate Justice Gulzar Ahmad promised to continue the mission of his successor to improve Pakistan’s judicial and police systems. “It is unfortunate to hear people say the police institution has become redundant. I believe they should have the capacity to provide security,” he added.
On the APS carnage, Justice Khosa said it had shocked the nation and forced Pakistan to “reconsider our approach to deal with terrorism”. “We said enough is enough. The National Action Plan was formulated and the entire nation backed it,” he said.
“While the judiciary has taken a number of steps to implement NAP, nothing significant has been done by the government in this regard,” he regretted.
The 20-point National Action Plan has been chalked out by the National Counter Terrorism Authority, an administrative entity under the interior ministry, in consultation with all stakeholders and approved by parliament on December 24, 2014 to counter terrorism and extremism.