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An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Quetta on Thursday acquitted former provincial home minister Gazain Marri in a case pertaining to his alleged links with banned militant organisations.

Nawabzada Gazain Marri, a former separatist leader and son of late Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh, returned to Pakistan in September last year after spending 18 years in self-imposed exile. He was arrested on his arrival at Quetta airport from Dubai.

On Thursday, ATC Judge Dawood Nasar set him free, saying that no substantial evidence against Marri was provided before the court.

Police had registered a case in 2017 against Marri for supporting banned militants organisations in Balochistan. Marri has already been acquitted in four other cases; he has been granted bail in the Justice Nawaz Marri murder case.

In January, he had announced to quit separatist and nationalist politics, saying he would join mainstream politics.