ISLAMABAD - The adverse observations and findings of the Commission in respect of the Ministry and the Minister are, with the greatest respect, unnecessary, uncalled for and violative of natural justice.

Ministry of Interior Friday filed the objections to the observations made in Inquiry Commission on Quetta blast report. Former Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali in October 2016 had constituted one member commission headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa under Commission of Inquiry Act, 1956.

It prayed that all adverse remarks made in the QIC Report, including but not limited to those in Paras 10.4, 10.6, 10.7 and 11 and Findings in Paras 33.3, 33.14 to 33.20, 33.24 and 33.26, in respect of the Ministry of Interior and the Minister of Interior may be expunged.

The adverse remarks and observations are without any evidentiary basis. They not only deny the Fundamental Rights of those affected but also have an adverse effect on the morale of the persons involved. War on terrorism is a national war. It requires unity amongst all institutions of the State.

It is submitted, with greatest respect, the Commission did not comply with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 in issuing summons and procuring attendance of the officials of the Ministry of Interior, including the Secretary, Interior. It further submitted with great respect and in all humility, that the commission acted beyond the scope of its statutory authority.

The ministry reply stated that although electronic registration is not in vogue yet, mapping of madaris has been undertaken by the present government in collaboration with provincial governments. Punjab and ICT have completed 100% mapping whereas remaining provinces including Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and FATA are near completion.

Regarding banning Jamatul Ahrar and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Almi in commission report, the reply submitted that the FIRs of the above incidents were registered but the government of Balochistan did not recommend proscription of any outfit to the Ministry, on its basis. The first information/ request was received from the government of Balochistan by two letters of 16th August, 2016. The Ministry immediately initiated the proscription process. There was no delay. Input from ISI was received by the Ministry on 31st October, 2016 and the Organizations were proscribed on 11th November, 2016. The whole process of proscription took 3 months. This cannot be deemed as delay.

A hasty decision will violate the law, particularly section 11-B of the Anti Terrorism Act, 1997. This will give rise to unnecessary litigation and further add to the burden of the courts. The findings of the QIC Report that NACTA’s act of seeking input from ISI/ IB is “illogical”, is flawed.

Regarding proscribed organizations not available in the public domain, the ministry reply says that on the directions of the minister, the list of proscribed organizations has been made available on the website of NACTA since February, 2016 and is regularly updated. After the proscription of Jamat-ul-Ahrar and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi on 11th November 2016 the list was accordingly updated on 16th November 2016.

About the meeting of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat leader Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi with the Ch Nisar the reply stated that Maulana Ludhianvi contested election, for National Assembly from Jhang-IV in the General Elections 2013. He lost election against the returned candidate Sheikh Muhammad Akram of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). Maulana Ludhianvi therefore filed an election petition before the Election Tribunal in Faisalabad, which him as returned candidate on 09.04.2014. Sheikh Akram filed an appeal against the tribunal verdict in the Supreme Court. The apex court had set aside the judgment of the Election Tribunal and declare Sheikh Muhammad Akram as the returned candidate.

Regarding Commission’s observation that the Ministry of Interior is without clear leadership and direction, the Interior Ministry reply stated that the findings are incorrect and contrary to the record, as already submitted. It is not based on any evidence and there was no material before the Commission to support it.

The reply stated that under the leadership of the Minister, the ministry initiated numerous measures to combat terrorism and bolster internal security paradigm and have been at the forefront in the efforts to eliminate terrorism. Terrorist attacks in Pakistan have decreased substantially (70%). A sense of stability and security is finally returning. These are not the actions or achievements of a Ministry that is, as has been observed, “without clear leadership and direction” or “confused about its role in combating terrorism.” Terrorism, however, cannot be eliminated overnight. The Ministry is spearheading the war against terror and is steadily making progress, the reply said.