Home Latest News CTD Initiates Probe into Letters Sent to IHC Judges with Suspicious Powder

CTD Initiates Probe into Letters Sent to IHC Judges with Suspicious Powder

Anonymous letters contained threats claiming the powder was anthrax, with one opened by an employee of the IHC

by Staff Report

File photo. Farooq Naeem—AFP

A day ahead of the Supreme Court commencing hearings into a suo motu case over alleged interference of spy agencies into judicial matters, all eight judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC)—including Chief Justice Aamer Farooq—received letters containing a suspicious powdery substance, prompting an inquiry by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).

Reportedly, the “anonymous” letters all claimed to be sent by a woman, Resham, and did not mention any return address. While all the judges received the letters on April 1, only one was opened on Tuesday, raising alarm throughout the court complex.

According to local media, the staffer of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb accidentally dropped the envelope with the suspicious powder after opening it and subsequently reported he felt irritation in his eyes and burns on his skin around his lips. He then alerted the staff of all other judges, directing them against opening the letters, and sought police help.

After the incident, the Islamabad Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General were summoned to the IHC, where all suspicious letters were handed over to police for further investigation. Subsequently, a case was lodged at the CTD Police Station in the federal capital over complaint of a branch clerk, who had received and dispatched the post.

According to the CTD, a team comprising experts had launched a probe into the incident to collect all relevant facts and ascertain the identity of the powdery substance.

The incident has raised new questions over the security and independence of IHC judges, as it occurred a day before the Supreme Court is set to commence hearings into a suo motu notice taken on a letter sent by six judges of the IHC to the Supreme Judicial Council in which they blamed spy agencies for meddling in judicial affairs.

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