Monday Apr 16, 2018
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday said there is no development as yet in the probe into the firing incidents at a Supreme Court judge's residence a day earlier.
“I am looking into the incidents of firing at the Lahore residence of Justice Ijazul Ahsan. There is no development in the investigations as yet,” the chief justice remarked while hearing a case related to the Football Federation of Pakistan.
Justice Nisar thanked the Supreme Court Bar Association and Pakistan Bar Council for expressing solidarity with Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was formed Sunday to probe the firing incidents at Justice Ijazul Ahsan’s residence.
Two separate firing incidents were reported at the Lahore residence of the Supreme Court judge a day earlier.
A first information report (FIR) was consequently filed against unidentified persons, with charges comprising attempted murder as well as a violation of the anti-terrorism act.
A spokesperson for the Government of Punjab said the JIT will be headed by additional inspector-general of police (IG) Muhammad Tahir and comprise Sultan Chaudhry, the deputy inspector-general for investigation, alongside representatives from the Military Intelligence (MI), Inter-Services Intelligence (IS), and Intelligence Bureau (IB).
Officers of the Special Branch and Forensics Agency will also be part of the team.
As per the initial investigation report issued by the police, Pakistan Rangers VIP Venue shift in-charge Naik Abdur Razzaq reported — at around 10:45 PM on April 14 — that a stray bullet hit the upper collar of the main gate of a house in H Block Model Town in Lahore.
"Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) Crime Scene Unit was called to process the incident to analyze it forensically," the investigation report said.
"They collected the evidence (data, photographs, and bullet slug)."
In addition, provincial government spokesman Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, as per Reuters, said: "Bullet shells were found outside the residence.”
The front part of a bullet that hit the door was recovered from the garage and authorities advised for the collection of all of the area's closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.
Police believe the shots were fired from roofs of surrounding houses and not the street in front of the house. However, neighbours of the judge informed Geo News that they do not recall hearing gunshots in the night.
Makhdoom Saad, the Forensic Scientist Crime Scene Investigator, said a report on the incident shall be furnished on Monday.
As per the Crime Scene Unit's (CSU) preliminary spatial observations, the bullet could be stray and in the final stage of its parabolic trajectory fired from a distance, the report said. It added that a search operation has been conducted on the probable direction of the bullet trajectory.
The PFSA's Fire Arms and Tool Marks (FATM) department will provide a detailed forensic report once an analysis of the submitted evidence is completed.
Following the incident, the Pakistan Army, the government's top brass, and politicians voiced their condemnation over the incident, with the legal community announcing to wear black armbands in protest today.
In a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistan Army said: “Firing incident at the residence of Mr Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan is condemnable.”
“All stakeholders should ensure [a] secure environment for [the] effective functioning of the state institutions and continue the efforts to consolidate improving peace and stability.”
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also released a condemnation message and directed for the early arrest of those responsible.
Similarly, Shehbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister for Punjab, took notice of the incident, advising the province's top cop to round up the culprits. His government called for immediate action to be taken.
Asif Ali Zardari, the co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the country's former president, called for a high-level judicial probe into the incident.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also condemned the incident, while Imran Khan, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, called the incident part of "Sicilian-mafia-like tactics".
On the other hand, Marriyum Aurangzeb, the Minister of Information for State, in her condemnation said such anarchists should be unveiled as soon as possible.
Justice Ahsan often spends the weekend in Lahore, his hometown, where he, along with the chief justice, presides over several cases related to public welfare issues and other matters at the Lahore registry.
Justice Ahsan is also the monitoring judge of the ongoing corruption cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He was part of the five-member bench that disqualified the ex-premier in the Panama Papers case last year.
He has also remained the chief justice of the Lahore High Court.