IHC warns NDMA of action if Murree-like incident happens again
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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday made it clear that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) commission would be held responsible in case an incident like the one that took place in Murree, a popular hill resort near Islamabad, couple of weeks ago recurred, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
During the hearing of a petition filed by a resident of Murree, in which he had sought probe as well as action against those responsible for the Murree tragedy in which several people had lost their lives out on a road in extreme cold, Chief Justice (CJ) of the IHC Justice Athar Minallah remarked that he would make an observation in this case’s decision that NDMA would be to blame in the event of a repeat of such a bone-chilling incident in future.
Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan told the court that the authorities had started taking action against those whose negligence resulted in the Murree tragedy. “The NDMA has already given guidelines to all and sundry. The Authority’s commission’s meeting will also be held,” the AGP assured the court.
Counsel for the petitioner, on the occasion, argued that mere sacking of the officers responsible was not enough, and that they should also be proceeded against.
The CJ said that as per the law, it was District Disaster Management Authority’s (DDMA) duty to ensure that all safety measures had been taken to save human lives during a blizzard. “It is now clear that no meeting of the policymaking body had ever taken place,” the judge said, adding and for that Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar was answerable.
CJ Minallah went on to say that there were authorities on the pattern of NDMA in all the four provinces of Pakistan. “And it is their job too to see to it that loss to property and human life could be prevented during calamities.
Reporter Ihtesham Kiani