DERA ISMAIL KHAN: An anti-terrorism court here on Saturday acquitted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur, his brother and two others in a decade-old case about a suicide attack on the then provincial law minister, Israrullah Khan Gandapur.

Judge Sohail Sheraz pronounced acquittal of Mr Gandapur, his brother and mayor of Dera Ismail Khan city Umar Amin Gandapur, Maizullah and Ali Mer Shah, after lawyers for both sides finished arguments.

Senior lawyer Syed Iqbal Hussain Shah Gillani appeared in the court for the accused.

Last month, the defence counsel filed an application with the court under the Code of Criminal Procedure, for the acquittal of the accused, insisting that no evidence of the involvement in the attack was available against his clients.

They were accused of planning, financing suicide attack against minister

He contended that the accused were named in the case without “any valid grounds.”

“As there is no possibility of their [accused’s] conviction after the completion of trial, they should be acquitted,” he said.

The lawyer referred to several superior court judgements to support his contentions.

Advocate Mohsin Ali appeared for the complainant in the case and opposed the acquittal of the accused.

He argued that the complainant had directly accused the accused of committing the offence and therefore, they should not be acquitted at the current stage of the trial.

Former provincial law minister Israrullah Khan Gandapur was killed on Oct 16, 2013, in a suicide bombing when he was greeting locals at his residence in Kulachi village here.

Six other people were also killed in the terrorist attack.

Initially, Naimatullah alias Gadi Khan was named the prime accused in the case. However, he was acquitted by the anti-terrorism court due to the lack of “concrete evidence” against him.

In 2018, Mr Israr’s brother, Inamullah Khan Gandapur, who is currently working as the deputy director at the Federal Investigation Agency, named Mr Gandapur and Umar Amin in the case.

He alleged that both Gandapurs planned, financed and facilitated the suicide bombing.

The complainant also addressed news conferences, reiterating allegations against Mr Gandapur and Umar Amin.

In 2018, he requested the then Supreme Court Chief Justice, Saqib Nisar, to take a suo motu notice of his brother’s murder.

The police and a joint investigation team probed the case for almost four years.

The JIT later declared that no concrete evidence of the involvement of Gandapur brothers in the suicide bombing was found.

However, as the complainant insisted, a challan, the final charge sheet, was submitted to the anti-terrorism court against both the accused.

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2024

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