Usman Danish

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) recently heard the petition filed by the widow of Professor Bashir, who tragically lost his life in an incident involving a security guard at Islamia College Peshawar. The grieving widow sought the court’s assistance in recovering her children, and during the hearing, Justice SM Atiq Shah expressed deep concerns over the police’s inability to locate the children for the past two months.

During the hearing, Justice Shah emphasized the need for stronger institutions to address such issues effectively.

In the Peshawar High Court hearing, Justice SM Atiq Shah directed his remarks toward the IG Police, expressing disappointment with the lack of progress in the case despite involving the SHO and SSP. The judge questioned the police’s inability to assist the affected party and requested clarity on whom they should issue orders to if the police cannot provide the required support.

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Justice SM Atiq Shah further questioned the CCPO Peshawar, asking why the court order to release the two children, Ziyad and Ali bin Ahmad, sons of the late Professor Bashir, had not been complied with. The petitioner’s counsel informed the court that the children were being held by their uncle and were not allowed to meet their mother. The counsel mentioned that they had filed an application in the relevant court, but no hearing had taken place, leading them to file a writ in the High Court.

In response, the CCPO Peshawar stated that extensive raids had been conducted in suspected areas, but no trace of the children had been found. The CCPO requested a grace period of 20 days to recover the children.

Justice SM Atiq Shah expressed concern over the extended timeframe requested by the CCPO and sought the IG Police’s opinion. The IG Police informed the court that they had met with the victim but were unsuccessful in recovering the children. They assured the court that they were coordinating with the FIA to ensure the safe recovery of the children within an appropriate timeframe.

Addressing the IG Police, Justice SM Atiq Shah emphasized that if the police and other institutions failed to recover the children, they should be informed of alternative actions that could be taken to ensure their safe return.

Secretary Abid Majeed informed the court that the police were making efforts to recover the children based on available reports. He mentioned that a case had been registered and a main suspect had been arrested, who was currently under investigation. Secretary Majeed assured the court that they would fulfill their duties as home secretary and comply with all court orders.

In response, the court inquired about the required timeframe from IG Police Akhtar Hayat Gandapur, who expressed the desire to recover the children by the evening, acknowledging the challenging nature of the case. The court then ordered the police to recover the children within 10 days and hand them over to their mother. The next hearing was adjourned until July 26.

It should be noted that on February 19 of this year, Professor Bashir, an English Department faculty member, was shot and killed by a security guard following an alleged incident at Islamia College Peshawar.

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