The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed displeasure at the performance of the Islamabad police and lambasted the capital city police chief for a report his department submitted regarding the abduction of senior journalist Matiullah Jan last month.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed had taken up the police report as it resumed hearing a contempt of court case against Jan, who was abducted last month and released the same day by men in police uniforms from outside a school in Islamabad.
The abduction on July 22 had come just a day before the journalist was supposed to appear before the Supreme Court after it had taken suo motu notice of “contemptuous” tweets against the superior judiciary posted by Jan on his Twitter account.
The capital police in its report had conceded that they were still waiting for replies from different departments, the assistance of which they had sought to unearth the journalist’s kidnapping.
“But efforts are underway to trace the culprits involved in the incident and in this regard the reports of various departments [are] awaited to carry out further investigations,” stated the 52-page report furnished before the top court on Wednesday by the deputy inspector general (operations) on behalf of Islamabad Inspector General Amir Zulfikar Khan.
As IG Khan appeared on the rostrum during the hearing on Thursday, CJP Ahmed inquired why the police had failed to gather information in the case.
“What kind of report has been submitted?” the top judge asked while addressing the capital police chief. “IG sahib, what age are you living in [that] you are writing letters like a police babu (clerk)?”
CJP Ahmed stressed that time is of crucial importance during an investigation and evidence can be destroyed even if 10 minutes have lapsed after an incident.
He told IG Khan that he was apparently “unaware” of how investigations work. “Officers are not there to [only] warm their chairs.” Also expressing dissatisfaction with the performance of the DIG operations, the CJP directed him to “go sit in the department from which you want information”.