ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) today gave a ruling that the NDMA will be held responsible if another tragedy, like the one in Murree, takes place.
On Friday (Jan 21), Attorney General Khalid Jawed informed the court that action against those found responsible for the disaster has started. “A session of the National Disaster Management Commission will soon be called to fix responsibility and take action,” he reassured.
In previous hearing, the IHC was informed that the NDMA held its last meeting in March 2018 and since then no meeting was held to come up with strategies to overcome emergencies/crisis situation in the country. Idrees Khan Mehsud made this disclosure in the Islamabad High Court.
The court directed the prime minister to call a commission meeting in a week and identify those responsible for the Murree tragedy. The IHC also held NDMA responsible for every death that took place.
Importantly, the Punjab government has sacked 15 officials, including commissioner and CPO Rawalpindi for showing negligence in Murree tragedy. However, no action had been taken, so far, against any of the NMDA senior officials for this tragedy.
On January 21, IHC chief justice Justice Minallah asked if Punjab has a separate disaster management commission. The attorney-general replied that the district and provincial governments manage Murree.
IHC chief judge, however, disagreed with this viewpoint and said it was Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s responsibility to make fool-proof arrangements in the hill station. Athar Minallah also said that if NDMA followed its principles, such a disaster wouldn’t happen.
The court then said that it will pass a written verdict which will clarify that for any Murree-like incidents in the future, NDMA will be responsible.
National Disaster Management Commission
The NDMC is chaired by the prime minister and its members include opposition leaders in the Senate and National Assembly, defence minister, health minister, foreign minister, finance minister, interior minister, social welfare and special education minister, communication minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor, chief ministers of all four provinces and Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Kashmir’s prime minister, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee or his or her nominee, the NDMA chairman and a civil society representative.