Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court grilled PM Imran Khan in the Army Public School massacre case, questioning his government for holding peace talks with the very terrorist group that had carried out the deadly attack on the Peshawar school in 2014, and ordered the PM to probe security lapses leading up to the assault. In December 2014, a total of 147 people, 132 of them children, were killed when Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) terrorists stormed the school. Khan’s government, however, is currently in talks with TTP and as part of the reconciliation process it has already announced a complete ceasefire with the banned outfit.
In a rare move, Khan appeared before the court on the orders of a three-judge SC bench headed by chief justice Gulzar Ahmed. With regards to media reports regarding negotiations with the TTP, the bench questioned whether “we are bringing them (TTP) back to the negotiating table instead of taking action against them?” “Are we going to surrender once again?” one of the judges, justice Qazi Mohammad Amin, asked the PM.
Khan was asked to explain his government’s actions against officials involved in the school’s security. He replied that he was not the country’s PM when the attack took place. It prompted the chief justice to ask him what his government has done in the past three years to redress the grievances of the families of the victims. “You issue order and we will take action,” Khan told the bench, adding that the relatives of the victims were compensated. At this, the chief justice remarked that the parents wanted their children and not compensation. The court informed the PM that the victims’ parents want action against officials who were posted at high-ranking positions at the time of the attack.