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October 8, 2011

Govt withdraws detention order after Afaq’s arrest in another case

World

AFP
October 8, 2011

The Sindh government’s law officer on Friday told the Sindh High Court that the government had withdrawn the notification of the detention of Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi chairman Afaq Ahmed under the Maintenance of Public Order following the reopening of a kidnapping-for-ransom case filed against him over 10 years back.
The advocate-general of Sindh, Abdul Fateh Malik, placed a notification of the additional home secretary before the Sindh High Court that was dealing with some identical petitions against the detention of the MQM-H chief under the MPO, informing the court that the detention order of the detainee had been withdrawn after the arrest of the detainee in a kidnapping-for-ransom case 201/01 registered at the Korangi police station.
Ahmed’s brother Amjad Shafqat and rights activist Syed Iqbal Kazmi had assailed the detention of Ahmed under the Maintenance of Public Order.
Shafqat submitted in the petition that on account of political and ideological differences, Ahmed had disassociated himself from the Mohajir Qaumi Movement and formed his own faction of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement.
He submitted that Ahmed had been first falsely arrested on April 3, 2004, in a 1992 case and since then he had been incarcerated in false cases.
He said that cases had been registered against his brother apparently on the advice and instructions of the MQM-Altaf, which was a partner of the PPP in the Sindh government, just to oust him from politics.
He said that the MQM-H chief was granted bail in the last case against him by the Sindh High Court last month, but his release on bail did not suit the rival group, and the governor of Sindh, Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, who is also a leader and nominee of the Muttahida, conveyed his party’s displeasure over the release of his brother, and subsequently a detention order was issued by the home department under the MPO.
The AG of Sindh, Abdul Fatah Malik, submitted that the case against the detainee that was

kept under the dormant file of the ATC had been reopened, and the court issued production order of the accused.
He submitted that the detainee had earlier been declared a proclaimed offender by the court in 2001, producing copy of the trial court order in case pertaining to kidnapping of an assistant executive engineer of the defunct KDA, Javed Ahmed Baloch, for issuance of possession order in respect of plot ST-7/1 in Landhi area.
The SHC’s division bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, inquired from the AG why the said case had not been mentioned in the list of cases against the detainee when he had approached the court for detail of the cases and how the police did not know of the case against the detainee that was kept in dormant file of the trial court for the last 10 years?
The AG replied that as the case had been in the dormant file of the court therefore it was not in the knowledge of the police, adding that now the ATC had seized with the matter and issued production order of the detainee.
He also placed a copy of the notification issued by the additional home secretary withdrawing the detention order of the detainee after his arrest in the kidnapping-for-ransom case and initiation of the trial by the anti terrorism court.
The petitioner’s counsel, M Ilyas Khan and Mohammad Farooq, submitted that the order of the dormant file was passed in 2001 and the detainee had been incarcerated since April 2004, but the detainee was not produced before the court even for a single day during the last seven years and the case was reopened when the detainee was either acquitted or released on bail in all the other cases against him.
They said that the police mala fidely did not produce the detainee before the court for the last more than seven years though he had been in prison, and such action was just to keep him behind bars for political motives, and such a delay had to be accounted for, and such matter had to be decided by the court on merit.
The counsels, however, submitted that they would take appropriate steps for the release of the detainee, but expressed apprehension that he would again be arrested in case an order of release was issued by the ATC.
The court disposed of the petitions as the impugned notification had been withdrawn by the government. However, it observed that in case the court ordered the release of the detainee, the officials would have to comply with such orders in accordance with the law.

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