KARACHI: The Counter-Terrorism Department on Monday submitted a supplementary charge sheet before the administrative judge of antiterrorism courts against one of the alleged facilitators of a suicide attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan.

The Hyderabad CTD had filed the report against the recently arrested Furqan, alias Farooq alias Azam, and submitted that the suspect and his accomplices were affiliated with the militant Islamic State group (also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh).

The investigating officer, Sohail Ahmed Mirza, further said in the supplementary charge sheet that the suspect had recorded his confessional statement before a judicial magistrate and admitted that he with the others helped the suicide bomber.

The report contended that the suspect, a resident of Quetta, and his accomplices had facilitated the attack on a directive of Mufti Hidayatullah, claimed to be killed in Balochistan.

Nadir Ali, alias Murshid, a resident of Kashmore and arrested in November 2017, had already been charge-sheeted in the present case while Safiullah, Abdul Sattar, Ijaz Bangalzai, Zulqarnain Bangalzai and Tanveer were shown as absconders in the supplementary report. It added that three absconders were residents of Balochistan and two from Punjab’s Rajanpur district.

Order reserved on appeals in Shahzeb murder case

It further said that as per the geofencing report, the suspect was in Sehwan on the day of the incident, adding that evidence was also collected from a guesthouse where he stayed during that period.

In his confessional statement, the suspect said that on the directive of Hidayatullah, he came to Sehwan, stayed there for three days to carry out reconnaissance of the shrine, adding that he went back to Quetta and provided the information to Hidayatullah.

Therefore, Hidayatullah handed over a suicide jacket to Barar Brohi, said to be the suicide bomber, and Nadir Ali and sent them to Sehwan, it maintained.

The statement added that Hidayatullah had also sent Ghulam Mustafa, alias Saeen, who was reportedly killed in a shootout in Mastung, Safiullah Mazari, Sattar Mazari, Maqbool, alias Zulqarnain, Ijaz Bangalzai and Tanveer to Sehwan to help the bomber.

Police claimed that Mufti Hidayatullah was killed, but the supplementary charge sheet was silent about his status.

After admitting the charge sheet, the administrative judge of ATCs, Karachi, sent the case to ATC-18, Karachi, for trial.

The case was recently transferred from an ATC in Hyderabad to Karachi.

Around 80 people were killed and over 350 others wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the packed-to-capacity courtyard of the shrine of the Sufi saint in February 2017.

Initially, police claimed to have arrested Furqan and another suspect, Ali Akbar, alias Haji, on Feb 27 in a Gadap locality and found explosive material and unlicensed weapons in their possession. They said that during questioning, Furqan disclosed his involvement in the main case.

The main case was lodged under multiple sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including murder, attempted murder, criminal conspiracy, the Explosive Substances Act and the Anti-Terrorism Act at the Rasool Bux Panhwar police station in Sehwan.

Shahzeb murder case

The Sindh High Court on Monday reserved its order on appeals against the conviction of Shahrukh Jatoi and others in the Shahzeb murder case.

A two-judge bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar had earlier heard arguments from the lawyers of the appellants and prosecution and asked the lawyer of the complainant party to inform it about the legal heirs of the victim.

When the matter came up on Monday, Advocate Mehmood Alam Rizvi, who had represented the complainant party, informed the bench that a compromise had been reached between both sides and the same was on record.

He added that the complainant, former DSP Aurangzeb Khan, the father of the victim, had died and his widow and two daughters were residing abroad and could not appear before the court. In a previous hearing, the prosecutor had raised objection over the compromise.

An ATC had sentenced Shahrukh and his friend Nawab Siraj Ali Talpur to death in June 2013 for killing 20-year-old Shahzeb on Dec 25, 2012 near his home in the Defence Housing Authority.

The convicts filed appeals in the SHC against the conviction while Shahrukh had also filed a criminal review application contending that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime.

In November 2017, a two-judge bench of the SHC set aside the conviction order and sent the case to a sessions court for fresh trial and to decide the compromise as well as other applications with an observation that the crime did not come within the parameters of the ATA. Later, the sessions court released Shahrukh and others on bail.

Therefore, around 10 civil society activists challenged the SHC judgement before the Supreme Court. The SC converted the appeals into a suo motu case under Article 184(3) of the Constitution and in February 2018 set aside the SHC judgement and remanded the case back to the SHC with the direction that the appeal be decided by a different bench of the SHC within two months.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2019