KARACHI: An antiterrorism court acquitted on Wednesday five accused, alleged to be agents of the Indian spy agency, in cases pertaining to anti-state activities, explosives and illicit weapons for want of evidence.

The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed to have arrested Muhammad Shafiq Khan alias Pappu, an employee of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, Abdul Jabbar alias Zafar Tension, Mohsin Khan alias Kashif, Khalid Aman alias Dad and Adil Ansari in August 2015 in Gulistan-i-Jauhar for allegedly working for the Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), getting training in India, being involved in terrorism and anti-state activities as well as carrying explosives and weapons.

After recording evidence of witnesses and concluding arguments from both sides, the judge of ATC-I, who conducted the trial after amalgamating all the cases, exonerated the accused persons of all charges for lack of evidence.

A judicial magistrate had recorded the confessional statement of accused Khalid Aman under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code in 2015.

Show-cause issued to jail superintendent in Shahzeb murder case

However, defence lawyer Mushtaq Ahmed contended that the confessional statement did not carry any legal weight as after the confession, the magistrate had handed over the accused to police instead of sending him to prison and also committed some other procedural errors.

According to the prosecution, the CTD had arrested four persons on Aug 27 in Gulistan-i-Jauhar after a shootout. Later, the CTD also detained their alleged accomplice Adil Ansari, it added.

The CTD claimed that the detained accused were RAW agents trained in India and involved in terrorism and anti-state activities.

London-based MQM leader Muhammad Anwar and two others, Mehmood Siddiqui and Muhammad Salman, were also shown as absconders in the cases.

The prosecution further said that Aman disclosed during interrogation that Mr Anwar and Mr Siddiqui had played a role in getting them trained by RAW. It maintained that Aman in his confessional statement before a judicial magistrate had also said that after training he was arrested and sent to prison in Delhi following a brawl with his accomplice Javed Langra.

Thereafter, the MQM leader with Mr Siddiqui allegedly came from London to settle the dispute and got him released from prison. He sent Aman back to Pakistan with the help of RAW agents, it alleged.

The main case was registered under Sections 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 123-A (condemnation of the creation of state and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty), 324 (attempted murder), 353 (criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the CTD police station.

The accused persons had also been separately booked under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and the Sindh Arms Act, 2013.

Show-cause issued to jailer

A judicial magistrate issued on Wednesday a show-cause notice to jail superintendent over non-production of Shahrukh Jatoi, the main convict in the Shahzeb Khan murder case, in another case pertaining to his escape.

Shahrukh has been booked for allegedly escaping to Dubai on forged documents following the murder of Shahzeb Khan in December 2012.

Nawab Ali Jatoi, brother of Shahrukh, Mohammad Khurram, one of the directors of Sikandar Ali Jatoi’s group of companies, two PIA officials and some travel agents have also been charge-sheeted for allegedly helping Shahrukh to escape through Karachi airport.

A judicial magistrate (Malir) issued a show-cause notice to the superintendent of district prison Malir for not producing Shahrukh before the court.

The Federal Investigation Agency had submitted the final charge sheet in the case in March 2013. However, the trial has not yet begun as the jail authorities have not been producing him in court.

Published in Dawn, March 15th, 2018

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