Pakistan court orders probe of PM, Cabinet members after protester deaths
Pakistan court orders probe of PM, Cabinet members after protester deaths

[JURIST] An Islamabad court on Monday ordered police to register a first information report (FIR) against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [BBC profile] and other cabinet members for killings of protesters on August 31 in Islamabad’s Red Zone. The FIR comes as a response to the political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) [party website] filing an application to the court requesting a case against the prime minister and other top government officials for the August killings.

In July Sharif approved [JURIST report] a new anti-terrorism bill [text, PDF] that detractors claim grants excessive power to police. The bill, known as the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance, allows police to use lethal force, to search buildings without a warrant and to detain suspects at secret facilities for up to 60 days without charge “on reasonable apprehension of commission of a scheduled offense.” Pakistan has been a focal point for global anti-terrorism efforts due to Taliban [JURIST news archive] operations in the country. In September 2013 Sharif claimed [JURIST report] that the country’s anti-terrorism laws would be amended to more effectively combat modern threats.