LAHORE, Nov 21: An anti-terrorism court has acquitted the alleged mastermind of GPO Chowk suicide bomb blast that occurred on Jan 10, 2008, when the lawyers’ movement for the restoration of the judiciary was at its peak.
The blast had occurred on Thursday, the day when lawyers used to take out a weekly protest rally. Police personnel deployed outside the Lahore High Court were targeted by the attacker.
The court acquitted the accused, Shahzad Ahmad, as prosecution failed to establish its case and produce any concrete evidence to prove his alleged role in the incident. Police had produced 88 witnesses.
The ATC judge, who was holding jail-trial, announced the verdict around 12 o’clock on Tuesday midnight in the presence of the accused, an official of Kot Lakhpat jail said and added that the judge took at least 20 hours to hand down the verdict.
Ahmad (34), a dentist and an alleged member of banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was arrested on April 26, 2008, from Lahore.
He is undergoing life imprisonment in another case pertaining to recovery of explosive material from a Wahdat Colony house that belonged to him. His appeal against the sentence is pending before the Lahore High Court.
Kite flying: The Lahore High Court sought on Wednesday a reply from the Punjab and city district governments on a petition seeking permission for kite flying in the province.
An office-bearer of the Kite Flying Association, Muhammad Saleem, filed the petition saying the Supreme Court had banned kite flying but the court had also defined certain parameters to allow the sport.
He said kite flying should be allowed in the light of Punjab Prohibition of Kite Flying Ordinance of 2001.
The petitioner said the government had been violating the ordinance and imposed a blanket ban on all kinds of kite flying. He prayed to the court to direct the respondents to allow kite flying in the province. The court adjourned hearing till Dec 6 and directed the respondents to file reply.