Victims of April 12 killings in Abbottabad moved Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD – Hundreds of victims of the infamous April 12 killings in Abbottabad during protests for Hazara province moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday, seeking the Chief Justice of Pakistan’s intervention.

The family members of the protestors who were killed and injured assembled at Constitution Avenue outside the Supreme Court’s buildings. The family representatives headed by former Speaker National Assembly Gohar Ayub Khan met Registrar Supreme Court Dr Faqir Hussain in his office and submitted an application against the April 12 carnage. In the application, the petitioners sought suo moto action from the CJ and rejected the findings of the Judicial Commission terming them politically motivated and demanded of registration of FIR against the responsible elements.

On the occasion, Gohar Ayub Khan said that the families of 7 slain protestors of the total 13 and those of 64 injured assembled at the Constitution Avenue in pursuit of justice. According to Gohar, majority of the injured protestors (more than 250) were seriously injured and could not travel to Islamabad in order to present their case and their families represented them.

Pinpointing stark flaws in the controversial FIR that was registered against Tehreek-e-Hazara leaders on April 13, Gohar Ayub said that Member National Assembly, Sardar Shah Jahan Yousuf, along with other Thehreek leaders was also nominated in the FIR, despite the fact that he was not in Pakistan when the protests had taken place. “Isn’t it enough to prove their malicious intentions? I’m a former Army officer and as per my experience, a full battalion hardy fires 800 bullets, if any crisis erupts and the ANP touts fired 1,500 bullets on innocent protesters! It’s a recall to infamous Jallianwala Bagh incident,” he added.

He said that Hazara had five districts and its 7.5 million population was greater than those of Denmark, Tajikistan and Israel. “Even in our neighbourhood, India had 7 provinces initially, now it has 28 and 14 more are likely to be formed. On the other hand, the Governments here did not bother to create more administrative units out of superficial political motives,” he added.

Nazeer Muhammad, father of slain youth Yasir, who fell victim to indiscriminate firing of Peshawar police on April 12, hoped that the CJP, following his legacy, would bring the culprits to book and justice would be served soon.

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Abbottabad observes protests over April 12 carnage

ABBOTTABAD – The steps taken by the local administration followed by the provocative statements from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Government triggered seemingly endless protests on Monday.

In what can be termed as the greatest protests ever observed since the start of Hazara Movement on April 1 this year, the entire population of Abbottabad including women, children and youth virtually joined hands with the Tehreek-e-Hazara leadership against the Awami National Party-led Government and local administration. Rallies and camps were arranged in front of Peshawar High Court bench’s building, Link Road, Shuhada-e-Hazara Chowk and all the related avenues.

The local administration on April 13 registered a ‘fresh’ FIR in the light of the controversial findings of Judicial Commission that accused public, political leadership, local administration, and ‘hidden hands’ of April 12 killings. Adding insult to injury, the previous FIR lodged on April 13 which only accuses Tehreek-e-Hazara leadership for the April 12 bloodbath has been made part of the ‘fresh’ FIR, which charged the atmosphere and led to Mondays’ protests. In addition, the Judicial Commission did not mention the number of the slain protestors in its controversial report, which is seen by the public at large in Hazara as a bid to conceal facts.

Talking to this scribe, Quaid-e-Tehreek-e-Hazara Sardar Haider Zaman deplored, “Who killed those innocent protestors if they (ANP Govt) are not responsible? They kill, they lodge FIRs and they investigate. We are killed, we are accused and we are convicted. It is a very strange affair indeed!”

He said, “We were expecting some fair play from this Judicial Commission but it sent its findings to the Chief Minister who vetted the findings according to his sweet will.” Zaman questioned the lodging of new FIR when police had already accepted that they fired 1,500 bullets on protestors and were, therefore, guilty. “We assembled peacefully to register our protests against renaming of NWFP in 18th Amendment. They enforced Section 144 and then killed us. Does any section of law allows killing of innocent people?” he asked.

Responding to Provincial Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain’s statement that Tehreek leaders would land in jails and face death sentences if they didn’t stop agitation, Zaman advised Iftikhar to read page 122 of Mutiny Report published by Britons in 1857 that praised the people of Hazara for bravery and fierce resistance in the War of Independence. “We don’t fear deaths and April 12 has proved it. All those 13 persons who lost their lives were common man and not a single policeman was killed,” he said.

Federal Govt urges KP to revisit Abbottabad riot report

ISLAMABAD- The federal government has directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to review the recently released report of a judicial inquiry into the death of seven people during demonstrations in Abbottabad on April 12.

Since the release of the judicial commission’s report on June 4, calls are being made to review its findings. The inquiry has been conducted by Justice Abdul Aziz Kundi of the Peshawar High Court.

The ministry of human rights said in a statement on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 that the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been directed to review the report. It was the democratic right of the people to hold peaceful demonstrations, it said, adding that inhuman treatment was meted out to protesters in Abbottabad.

The ministry has also sought post-mortem reports of the victims to determine the cause of deaths, according to the statement.

Federal Secretary for Human Rights Justice Riaz Kayani said during a recently held meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Rights he had pointed out certain discrepancies in the statements made by police officials who were directly involved in maintaining law and order in Abbottabad on the day of the killings.

Particularly, Justice Kayani said, the Abbottabad’s DPO was reluctant to provide post-mortem reports of the victims.

In the inquiry report, police claimed that people were killed by firing by protesters.

Speaking at a press conference the other day, Tehreek-e-Hazara Province chairman Ali Asghar Khan called upon the chief justice of Peshawar High Court to issue directives for review of the inquiry report.

He said the commission had failed to fix responsibility of the incident and find exact death toll. The commission, he claimed, issued an ambiguous report which held the district, divisional administration, police, local politicians and the general public collectively responsible for the incident.

He claimed that the report was prepared under pressure from the ANP-led provincial government.

Riots had broken out in Abbottabad and other towns of Hazara division after parliament passed the 18th Constitution Amendment, paving way for the renaming of erstwhile NWFP as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Local political groups, traders and lawyers had launched a movement, demanding a separate province.

The judicial commission blamed two political parities — PML-N and PML-Q — for drawing political mileage out of the crisis, and specifically mentioned PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain who had visited Abbottabad before April 12.

Tehreek-e-Hazara threatens to start long march toward Islamabad

RAWALPINDI: Leaders of the Tehreek-e-Hazara Province (THP) have threatened to march on Islamabad if the government does not meet their demand for Hazara as a separate province soon.

The THP leaders expressed these views while addressing a large rally at the Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi on Thursday. People at the well-attended rally chanted slogans in favour of their demands.

Besides Baba Haider Zaman, MNA Sardar Shahjahan Yousuf, former State Minister for Finance Umer Ayub Khan, Maulana Abdul Majeed Hazarwi, Sardar Muhammad Yousuf, Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani and others addressed the rally. The participants were carrying banners, placards and chanting slogans for making Hazara as separate province.

A large contingent of police and other security officials of different agencies had cordoned off the areas to avoid any untoward situation. The worst traffic jam was seen in the city.

Chairman Tehreek-e-Hazara Province Baba Haider Zaman in his address warned the government to make Hazara a separate province or the people of the area would start a long march towards Islamabad. He said the government was meting out step-motherly behaviour to the people of Hazara and such a treatment would never be tolerated at any cost.

He said that they, along with their families, would block the roads from Peshawar to Karachi. He also said that they had been silent for years and waiting for the government’s decision but unfortunately the government could not take any decision in the best interest of the Hazara people. Now the people of Hazara had awoken and would win their basic rights in the country, he said.

Maulana Abdul Majeed Hazarvi, criticised him for describing Ahmadis as his brothers. “Nawaz Sharif has tarnished the image of Muslims by calling Ahmadis his brothers. He (Nawaz Sharif) must explain whether he is a Muslim or Qadiani.,” the cleric said.

Umer Ayub Khan in his address said that the Hazara community was ready to sacrifice each and everything for their basic rights. They would start a long march towards Islamabad if the government did not pay heed to their legitimate demand. “The flood of Hazara community at Liaquat Bagh is evidence that the people of this area are determined to take their basic rights”, he said.

Similarly, other leaders of the Hazara Tehreek in their speeches insisted on establishing Hazara a separate province. They warned of the government not to tease the people of Hazara or leaders would face the music.

Tehreek-e-Hazara stages sit-in against Judicial Commission Report

THP to protest against the ‘biased’ report outside the PHC and the Supreme Court buildings on June 14 and 16

ABBOTTABAD: Leaders of the Tehreek-e-Hazara province staged a sit-in outside the Peshawar High Court, Circuit Bench, on Tuesday against the judicial commission report on the April 12 violence in which eight innocent people were killed in Abbottabad.

Terming the report as biased and ambiguous, the leaders claimed that the commission’s findings were prepared to protect those who opened indiscriminate fire at peaceful citizens of Abbottabad and killed innocent people.

The sit-in continued for two hours as supporters of the movement for the Hazara province gathered there to show solidarity with the protesting leaders of the Tehreek-e-Hazara.

Sardar Haider Zaman, Sardar Muhammad Yousuf, Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, Dr Muhammad Azhar Jadoon, Qazi Arshad and Mushtaq Tahirkheli were prominent among the protesters.

Chief of the Tehreek-e-Hazara Sardar Haider Zaman in his brief address vowed to continue peaceful struggle for the creation of the Hazara province. He said the judicial commission report had exposed the intentions of the provincial government.

Haider Zaman said the people of Hazara would never accept the wrongdoings of the provincial government and continue their struggle for justice and fair play.

Earlier, an emergency meeting of the action committee of the Hazara Tehrik was held. It was attended by Sardar Haider Zaman, former lawmakers Gohar Ayub Khan, Alamzeb Khan, former federal minister Syed Qasim Shah, Amanullah Khan Jadoon, Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob, former nazim Mansehra Sardar Muhammad Yousuf, Yousuf Ayub Khan, Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, Shahzada Gustasap, Nisar Safdar and others.

Briefing the newsmen after the meeting, Haider Zaman said a big protest rally would be staged outside the PHC and the Supreme Court buildings on June 14 and 16, respectively, to protest against the ‘biased’ report of the judicial commission, which was headed by Justice Abdul Aziz Kundi of the Peshawar High Court.

Tehreek-e-Hazara rejects Judicial Commission Report

ABBOTTABAD – The central leadership of Tehreek-e-Hazara has strongly rejected the findings of Judicial Commission with reference to April 12 protests wherein as many as 13 persons lost their lives when they were demanding formation of Hazara province.

The Commission’s report, which has been bitterly criticised in the political and public circles of Hazara, held responsible the public, local administration, police and political leadership for violence on April 12. The report says that the protestors were killed as result of ‘cross firing’ between them and police. On the other hand, the Tehreek leaders say they fail to understand the ‘cross firing’ phenomenon when all the deceased were protestors and not a single policeman lost his life.

Quaid-e-Tehreek-e-Hazara Sardar Haider Zaman termed the April 12 killings as an event that exposed the malafide intentions of Awami National Party’s provincial government. “13 protestors killed but not a single policeman died and yet it was a cross firing case! Does it make any sense? Those who lost their lives were totally unarmed and helpless.
The ANP government, their ‘touts’ in local administration, and PML-N, all of them are responsible for the killings,” he said.

Zaman said that local administration imposed section 144 in the city while the Peshawar police wrecked havoc by killing 13 innocent protestors. He slammed the role of Nawaz Sharif who had called a ‘party convention’ the same day (April 12) to add fuel to fire. “All of them were in a malicious nexus to sabotage the peaceful movement,” he added categorically rejecting the Commission’s findings that accuse people and local political leadership towards violence on the eve of April 12 protests.

Senior Central Leader Tehreek-e-Hazara Gohar Ayub Khan said that 6 to 8 Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) were sent to Abbottabad by the provincial government on April 12 only to suppress the peaceful protests. “What was the need of imposing section 144 on April 12 when our protests were peaceful right from the start of the Movement since April 1? They fired 1500 bullets, 13 people lost their lives, 250 got injured and now they say that people are responsible?” he deplored.

Gohar termed the April 12 incident as a recall to the infamous Jallianwala Bagh tragedy that had taken place before partition. He said that Nawaz Sharif was equally responsible for the bloodshed. According to Gohar, special police contingents were called from Swabi, Charsada and Peshawar to kill innocent people.

Central Organiser Hazara Action Committee Sardar Sheraz Afzal said that general public as well as Tehreek’s leadership had repeatedly demanded to include a Supreme Court Judge and members of Abbottabad Bar Council in the Judicial Commission but the Government did not paid any heed to their demands.

“We already knew about the findings of this Judicial Commission. We are waiting for Chief Justice to take suo moto action on April 12 killings, the justice could be served only then,” he added.

Khyber-PK government discloses the judicial inquiry reports of April 12 carnage

PESHAWAR – Holding responsible both the local leadership of the Hazara Movement as well as the administration for the Hazara tragedy, Spokesman for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government Mian Iftikhar Hussain disclosed that the incident occurred due to lack of collective responsibility on part of the political leadership as well as the leadership of the Hazara Movement.

“The report has thoroughly mentioned that multiple factors were involved in the occurrence of Hazara carnage, namely, lack of proper intelligence sharing and involvement of outsiders made the issue complicated,” Mian Iftikhar was briefing the journalists about the judicial inquiry reports of the April 12 carnage.

He made it clear that the judicial inquiry also mentioned some hidden elements that aggravated the situation as the report recorded that both police station and police vehicles were targeted in the incident which forced the police on exchange of firing. The report stated that the arrival of political activists of PML-Q under the leadership of Ch Shujaat Hussain was also one of the reasons behind the tragic incident.

The report further stated that three days before the incident the situation was quit peaceful while the protesters had staged peaceful demonstration but “provocation” by Ch Shujaat also caused the untoward incident. He added that the report had recorded the statement of the eyewitnesses and some people of were hesitant to present the testimony. 
Mian Iftikahr Hussain said that action would be taken against the responsible persons after consultation with legal experts.

He said that specifically the names of those persons which have not been mentioned would be surfaced soon after consulting the legal experts. With regard to compensation for the victim, he said that chief minister would himself visit Abbottabad to announce compensations for the families as well as the local traders.