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Apex court commission starts probe

Flood diversion
ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday constituted a four-member Commission with complete authority to probe and submit a report within two months over the flood diversion issue.
The Commission would comprise AK Lodhi, a former chief secretary Balochistan, Fateh Khan Fajak, a former federal secretary, Khwaja Zaheer Ahmed also a former federal secretary and Azam Khan a former chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
While additional registrar of the apex Court Qazi Sajid Mahmood would perform duties as facilitator between the Commission and government functionaries.
The apex Court observed in its order that they were appointing senior retired officers who had relevant expertise with full authority to record witnesses and probe record.
It further noted “Eventually, a factual controversy of public question is required to be answered by a fact finding body which shall be authorized to exercise all those powers available to commissions constituted by the courts.”

A three-Judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalil-ur Rehman Ramday issued directive on a plea filed by Marvi Memon, a PML-Q parliamentarian and appeals made by deputy chairman Senate Jan Muhammad Jamali, Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim and others through their letters.
The bench also noted that though the factual controversy had not been highlighted in reports of certain commissions formed by the provinces, it considered it appropriate to constitute a commission comprising experts instead of judicial officers.
The Commission was also mandated to appoint relevant people with technical know-how having experience in the field of irrigation, agriculture, embankments, floods etc, and those would have the same authority given to its four members.
The bench further noted that the task assigned to the Commission was laborious and complicated and they would require logistic support, therefore, four provincial chief secretaries were directed to extend full support to the Commission through proper arrangements.
The Cabinet secretary was directed to cooperate with the chief secretaries and would be appreciated if he initiated the process, it added. Surveyor of Pakistan, secretaries of irrigation and Relief Commissioners were also directed to provide full facilities to the Commission. While federal secretary information was directed to assist the Commission in case it required proper publication or telecasting of advertisement as he would be responsible for advertisement required by the Commission. -APP


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