Islamabad’s civil courts in poor shape, exposed to threats from all sides

Zubair Qureshi

The Islamabad judicial complex located in a busy market of the sector F-8/4 has been a target of terrorist attack in 2014. The attack shook the entire complex leaving it in a shambles. Even before that, the 2008 earthquake had also partially damaged the building.
Since the two incidents, natural and the man-made, lawyers, judges and the litigants have been calling upon the government to shift the courts from an open market to a safe place. Exposed to miscreants/terrorists from all sides, security provided to this cracked building is quite fragile with many loopholes.
A number of poorly-trained police constables can be seen standing indifferently at the entrance and exit points without bothering who is entering the court premise. In this regard District & Sessions Judge (D&SJ) of Islamabad-West Sohail Nasir has recently submitted a report to the Registrar of the Islamabad High Court drawing his attention to the pathetic condition of the courts of Islamabad, the capital city of the country.
In his letter to the Registrar, the D&SJ writes that there are 60 civil and Magistrate Class-I courts that fall under District & Sessions Courts (East & West). The 2008 earthquake had severely damaged the building of the judicial complex. “Cracks almost everywhere so these buildings are dangerous to lives and God forbid there can be any mishap in future,” writes the senior judge of the subordinate judiciary.
It may be mentioned here that Islamabad’s judicial complex is a rental building and all the court rooms are working on makeshift basis. It was on March 3, 2014 almost five years ago when 11 people, including an additional district & sessions judge Rafaqat Awan, were killed and 29 others wounded in a gun and bomb attack in the judicial complex.

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