Gulf Today

Mystery deepens as another judge receives ‘toxic’ letter

Justice Najafi becomes latest to receive suspicious leter; agencies direct post offices and courier services to be vigilant and thoroughly check any leter sent to high-profile personalit­ies


The authoritie­s have put all the post offices and courier companies on “red alert” ater another senior judge received a leter containing arsenic powder on Friday.

Showing seriousnes­s about the threatenin­g leters delivered to high-profile personalit­ies including Supreme Court of Pakistan and High Court judges, and Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz, the agencies have directed the posts offices and courier services in the country to be vigilant and thoroughly check any leter sent to any high-profile personalit­y.

Sources said that all the post offices and courier services were also directed not to open any “suspicious” leter addressed to high-profile personalit­ies.

The private television channels reported that the decision was taken ater arsenic powder and “threatenin­g symbols” were found in the leters sent to Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Qazi Faez isa, several judges of the Supreme Court, Islamabad High Court, Lahore High Court and the Punjab Chief Minister.

In the latest developmen­t on Friday, Justice Baqar Ali Najafi of Lahore High Court (LHC) got a suspicious leter which was received by his secretary.

The suspicious leter was handed over to the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officers for investigat­ion.

The latest leter brings to six the number of epistles received by the LHC judges so far.

In the ongoing investigat­ion by the Counter Terrorism Department, the close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras near the post office have been checked but still, no help could be found from the footage. The sources also said that the work on the validity of the names and addresses of senders is being checked.

Preliminar­y investigat­ion into the threatenin­g leters received by the senior judges has revealed that they were sent from the same place.

The leters had been sent from the subdivisio­nal post office, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi as the same address was writen on the stamps pasted on all these leters.

It is worth mentioning that on last Monday, April 1, just a day ater the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of the leter writen by six IHC judges in which they had alleged interventi­on in their work by the intelligen­ce agencies, all eight judges of the high court, including the chief justice, received “suspected anthrax-laced leters.” And on Wednesday, same threatenin­g leters were sent to the SC judges, including CJP Justice Qazi Faez Isa who had received this leter twice, making the case more mysterious.

On Thursday, four judges of the Lahore High Court and Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz had also received the leters.

A first informatio­n report (FIR) was filed regarding the threatenin­g leters.

The FIR was lodged based on the complaint of IHC clerk Qadeer Ahmed at the Counter Terrorism Department police station in Islamabad on April 2 in which he stated that he had distribute­d at least eight leters addressed to IHC judges.

However, he received a warning from court employee Qamar Khursheed via telephone, advising him against opening the envelopes as they allegedly contained a chemical.

Following this warning, all readers at the court were instructed not to open the envelopes.

Upon opening four of the envelopes later, they discovered “white powder” inside. The contents of the envelopes criticised the justice system while referring to the “Tehreek-e-namoos-e-pakistan.”

The leters were authored by a woman named Resham, with no specific address provided.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has announced that thorough investigat­ion will be conducted into the “toxic” leters sent to the judges of Supreme Court and High Courts.

Addressing the federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad, he said this mater will be taken up with a sense of responsibi­lity, advising everyone not to “do politics” over the threatenin­g leters sent to senior judges.

Meanwhile, a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking formation of full court to hear suo moto case on Islamabad High Court judges’ leter.

The petition has been filed by former Supreme Court Bar Associatio­n (SCBA) president Abid Zuberi and four other lawyers.

 ?? Agence France-presse ?? ↑
People leave after offering Friday prayers at the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad.
Agence France-presse ↑ People leave after offering Friday prayers at the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad.

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