Pakistan Post issues SOPs in wake of judges receiving suspicious letters

In Local
April 05, 2024



ISLAMABAD:

The office of the director general (DG) of Pakistan Post issued a notification on Friday conveying specific instructions regarding mail addressed to judges, diplomats, and other high-profile individuals, days after over a dozen senior judges of the apex and high courts received powder-laced letters.

Urging immediate action, the DG asked for the mail to be carefully examined and delivered to the R&I section of the relevant office.

Furthermore, the director general also emphasized the safety of the postal staff handling the mail.

“Ensuring the safety and security of the postal operational staff is our prime responsibility and priority,” stated the DG in his letter.

Postmaster generals were directed to provide masks and gloves to staff members to mitigate potential risks associated with handling hazardous materials.

The notice explicitly instructed all postal staff to exercise extreme caution when handling letters and packages brought into the post office.

“Any unattended and suspected material should be immediately reported to the supervisor on duty, local administration, and the head of the unit and circle concerned,” the notification stated.

Read PTI calls for probe into ‘threatening letters’ sent to IHC judges

“Postal staff posted at counters, DMOs, and Delivery Post Offices should also be directed to remain vigilant while booking, sorting, transmitting, and delivering mail,” the notice added.

Staff members were asked to comply with Rule-171 of the P.O Manual Volume VI, which outlines the proper treatment of articles presented for registration, as well as Rule-122 of Volume-V, which prohibits certain articles from being transmitted by inland post.

Additionally, the notification emphasized adherence to Section 23 of the Post Office Act, 1898, which delineates the authority to address postal articles posted in contravention of the act.

The SOPs issued by DG Pakistan Post. PHOTO: EXPRESS

The SOPs issued by DG Pakistan Post. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Earlier today, Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Justice Ali Baqar Najafi became the latest target on Friday of the suspicious ‘toxic letters’ received by superior members of the judiciary over the last few days.

The total number of LHC judges receiving the letter reached six. The letter received by Justice Najafi was said to have been handed over to the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).

Two days ago, eight judges, including Chief Justice Aamer Farooq of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) received letters containing an unknown powder, suspected to be laced with anthrax.

A day later, the letters containing the suspicious powdery toxic substance were sent to the Supreme Court jurists, including Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, as well as other judges of the LHC.

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