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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has said that the murder trial of slain journalist Arshad Sharif could be held in Pakistan.

A single bench of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq on Wednesday heard the petition of Arshad Sharif’s mother Riffat Ara Alvi seeking the postmortem report of his son. The bench after hearing the arguments disposed of the case.

During the hearing, the deputy attorney general said that the report has now been provided to the journalist’s mother. Barrister Shoaib Razzaq, who appeared on behalf of Riffat Ara stated that the postmortem report was given to her on Sunday.

In response to a question of the Chief Justice about the developments in the case in Pakistan, the petitioner’s counsel replied that nothing was happening here. The counsel told the court that their application seeking the formation of a judicial commission to probe the murder was still pending, adding that an FIR could be registered in Pakistan as well.

The CJ then said even the trial could be held in Pakistan and mentioned the trial of murder of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Imran Farooq as a reference. Later, the bench disposed of the post-mortem report petition.

Riffat Ara moved the court through her lawyer Barrister Shoaib Razzaq and cited the Federation of Pakistan through the President of Pakistan, the Ministry of Interior through the Secretary Interior, and the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) through its joint executive director and postmortem member as respondents.

She moved the court against the delay in the provision of the postmortem report of his son and said that the postmortem report was sought from the administration on November 3 by the family’s focal person but they were told by the administration that they did not have the report as it was with the police.

Arshad’s mother also stated in the petition that upon contacting the police they were again turned down and were asked to contact the administration. She further said that the PIMS’ management was also contacted for the purpose of availability of the report but they neither provided that nor had denied.

In the petition, she expressed her fear of alteration in the report so that the facts could be distorted urging that they should be kept informed all times to ensure transparency. The petitioner said that the family is being kept in the dark and feared that the postmortem report might be tempered.

The mother requested the court that the representative/focal person of petitioner may be directly involved and included in the whole process and be briefed by the relevant authorities.

She added that the PIMS authorities be directed to release the report of autopsy solely to the petitioner and if required to the relevant authorities and that the said report may not be made public without the consent of the petitioner.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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