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KARACHI: The Counter-Terrorism Department on Tuesday submitted in court an interim charge sheet against five detained suspects for allegedly helping the militants who stormed the Chinese consulate in November.

The CTD submitted that sufficient evidence had been collected against the arrested suspects for providing transport and medical facilities, transportation of weapons and explosives, reconnaissance, accommodation and other assistance to the assailants.

However, the investigating officer of the CTD sought time for submission of a final charge sheet on the ground that a complete record of the absconding accused, including their parentage and residential addresses, had not been collected yet. The findings of DNA and chemical examiner and other reports were also awaited, he added.

The IO charge-sheeted Ahmed Hasnain, Ali Ahmed, alias Hashim, Mohammad Aslam, Nadir Khan, alias Baladi, and Abdul Latif as the alleged facilitators and also incorporated Section 21-I (aid and abetment) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 in the interim investigation report and said that the banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), supported by the Indian intelligence agency RAW, was behind the attack aimed at harming the relations between Pakistan and China.

Harbiyar Marri, the exiled leader of the banned BLA, Ali Dad Baladi, alias Aslam Achhu, and 13 others are named as absconders in the interim report while Abdul Razzaq, alias Jalal, Raees Baloch and Azal Baloch were named as attackers, who carried out the gun-and-grenade attack on the consulate in a high-security zone of Clifton on Nov 23. Two policemen and two visa applicants (father and son) were killed before the militants were gunned down by police and Rangers personnel.

The interim charge sheet further said that Nadir, a cousin of Aslam Achhu, and Latif had recorded their confessional statements before a judicial magistrate on Jan 18, in illicit weapons cases lodged at the Shah Latif Town police station, but contended that they had also confessed that they had helped the attackers.

Nadir, during questioning, disclosed that he with two accomplices Abdullah and Amanullah transported the weapons and explosives, packed in the gearbox of a boat, from a place near the Cantonment railway station to a workshop in Baldia, and then handed them over to the assailants, it maintained.

The investigation report further said that the other detained suspects also revealed that they also provided to the attackers assistance, including reconnaissance, transportation of weapons and explosives, consultation, accommodation and medical treatment.

While placing 39 prosecution witnesses in the interim report, the IO contended that the call data record, ballistic report, bomb disposal unit’s report and other documentary evidence also supported the statements of witnesses recorded by the police under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

After accepting the interim investigation report, the administrative judge directed the IO to file a final charge sheet within 14 days and sent the case to ATC-II, directing it to fix it for hearing on Feb 23.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2019