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Police approach SBP for account details of suspects listed in Fourth Schedule

Published Feb 17, 2017 07:00am

KARACHI: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of the Sindh police has approached the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to seek details of bank transactions and accounts of the more than 150 suspects placed under the Fourth Schedule while monitoring their “affairs” and “other activities” because of their suspected terror links, a senior official said on Thursday.

The official confirmed to Dawn that the move was made recently after all powers had been given to the CTD a couple of months ago under Section 11-EEE (2)(f) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1977 to monitor activities of the persons whose names had been included in the list under the Fourth Schedule of the ATA, 1997.

“In this connection we have written to the State Bank to provide us all financial details of these persons — bank accounts and transactions,” said CTD chief and additional IG Sanaullah Abbasi while talking to Dawn. “There are more than 150 persons who have been placed under the Fourth Schedule and we have sought details of all those persons from the State Bank. We are expected to meet the officials concerned soon in this regard.”

He said the move was part of the CTD initiative taken in December 2016 under which it decided to collect data of bank accounts, property and other assets of the persons whose names had been placed under the Fourth Schedule, apart from monitoring their “affairs” and “other activities” suspected to be linked to terrorism.

The CTD, AIG Abbasi said, had been given a monitoring and oversight role and the recent move was part of this mandate given to the department for Fourth Schedule suspects.

The Fourth Schedule is a section of the ATA under which someone who is suspected of terrorism is kept under observation; it is mandatory for him or her to register his or her attendance with the local police regularly. Also, the Fourth Schedule includes elements found to be or suspected to be involved in anti-state activities, delivering hate speeches and/ or activists of religious outfits not yet banned but related to militancy in some way.

The new measures planned by the CTD after getting the mandate for the surveillance and monitoring of such persons is seen as an aggressive approach of the law-enforcement agency to keep those individuals under strict and constant check.

“Before the recent [powers] the police were only mandated to monitor routine matters of those persons who were placed under the Fourth Schedule,” said AIG Abbasi. “However, due to the growing threat of terrorism and strong nexus of suspects, it was crucial to look into the other aspects of lives and routines. The recent move to keep an eye on their financial matters is part of this enhanced mandate.”

He said for a smoother chain of command, the CTD would frequently report to the Sindh police chief on the working of individuals under the Fourth Schedule with its recommendations to the district police forces if any lapse was observed in the legal procedures.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2017