What's arsenic, the powder sent to Pakistan's judges?

11:06 PM | 4 Apr, 2024
Source: File photo

Arsenic is a notoriously toxic metalloid. It is a chemical element, which occurs in many minerals, usually in combination with sulfur and metals, but also as a pure elemental crystal. 

Arsenic poisoning is a medical condition that occurs due to higher levels of arsenic in the body. If arsenic poisoning occurs over a brief period of time, symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, encephalopathy, and watery diarrhea that contains blood. A long-term exposure can result in thickening of the skin, darker skin, abdominal pain, diarrhea, heart disease, numbness and cancer.

Arsenic found in threatening letters to judges

On Thursday, a forensic report confirmed that the white powder in the threatening letters delivered to the top Pakistani judges contained arsenic.

The forensic report came hours after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the government would investigate who sent the threatening letters to the judges. 

Unknown people sent letters to all eight judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday in sealed white envelopes. Names of the judges and the address of the IHC were written on the envelopes. The IHC staff who opened the envelopes found a suspicious powder inside.

Responding to the development, the IHC registrar called the police and a case was registered under Section 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

Later, similar letters were delivered to the judges of the Supreme Court and the Lahore High Court (LHC). 

The forensic report on the white powder received to the judges of the LHC in letters is now ready to be dispatched to the authorities concerned. The report says that arsenic, if sniffed, can cause swelling of the nose and the lungs and trigger bleeding.

A report by Geo News said on Thursday that CCTV cameras around the post offices where letters were dispatched to judges were found broken. Islamabad Police's Counterterrorism Department is investigating the issue of threatening letters to judges and the IHC registrar has been informed about the progress so far. 

However, the Islamabad Police have expanded the scope of the investigation and now they will collect footage of CCTV installed by private shops and buildings near the post boxes.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk


US Dollar, Euro, Dirham, Pound, Riyal Rate in Pakistan Today - Currency Rates 23 July 2024

Pakistani currency rates against US Dollar and other currencies on July 23, 2024 (Tuesday) in open market.

USD to PKR Rate Today

US dollar was being quoted at 279.25 for buying and 280.70 for selling. Euro's buying rate remains stable at 354.5 and selling rate is 358.35.

British Pound rate is 354.75 for buying, and 358.25 for selling. UAE Dirham AED was at 76.4 and Saudi Riyal lowered to 73.60.

Currency Rates Today

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.15 280.85
Euro EUR 301.25 303.25
UK Pound Sterling GBP 354.75 358.25
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.40 77.15
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.60 74.32
Australian Dollar AUD 184.75 186.55
Bahrain Dinar BHD 741.15 749.15
Canadian Dollar CAD 203.50 205.50
China Yuan CNY 38.35 38.75
Danish Krone DKK 40.05 40.45
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.70 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 36.05 36.05
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.25 917.35
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.95 59.75
New Zealand Dollar NZD 169.24 171.24
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.04 26.34
Omani Riyal OMR 722.87 730.89
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.39 77.09
Singapore Dollar SGD 202.00 204.00
Swedish Korona SEK 26.40 26.70
Swiss Franc CHF 309.05 311.55
Thai Bhat THB 7.50 7.65


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