3 judges of Pakistan's Lahore High Court receive threatening white-powder letters

3 judges of Pakistan's Lahore High Court receive threatening white-powder letters

Lahore | After the Islamabad High Court judges, three judges of Pakistan's Lahore High Court on Wednesday received threatening white-powder letters, said the court's Registrar Office.

The judges who received the letters are Justice Shujaat Ali Khan, Justice Shahid Bilal Hasan and Justice Alia Neelum.

Lahore police and the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) senior officers reached the LHC and took the letters into custody and launched an investigation. Security of the LHC judges has been enhanced following the incident.

The police took the employee of the courier company who delivered the letter into custody and shifted him to an undisclosed location for interrogation.

The white powder is suspected to be anthrax. "The powder has been sent to a laboratory for examination whether it is anthrax," a Punjab police spokesperson said.

A day earlier, all eight judges of IHC, including Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, received "suspected anthrax-laced letters."

The threatening letters to high court judges surfaced after the Supreme Court took suo motu notice and formed a seven-member bench chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa to hear the case of six IHC justices who accused spy agencies, including ISI, of meddling in judicial matters.

The IHC judges had alleged that their bedrooms were bugged, and their relatives were abducted and tortured by the intelligence agencies' personnel to get desired verdicts.

Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has demanded a thorough and immediate investigation into the threatening letters with white powder sent to IHC and LHC judges.

A PTI spokesperson said that prima facie, the letters containing deadly and poisonous substances were intended to intimidate the judges.

He said that after these letters, the decisive investigation and action in the matter of interference in judicial affairs increased manifold.

"Special measures should be taken for the safety and security of the judges and their families," he said.

He urged the chief justice of Pakistan to refer the six judges’ letter to the full court sans any further delay to take the matter to its logical conclusion through open proceedings to ensure judicial independence and protect judges from bullying and threats.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Isa on Wednesday vowed to thwart any attack on the judiciary’s independence as he indicated that a full court would hear the case about alleged interference in the judicial affairs by the powerful intelligence agencies.

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