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Friday June 14, 2024

Eight accused of attacking GHQ to be transferred to military courts

Transfer of cases was approved by ATC Judge Hamid Hussain after a petition was moved for the transfer

By Shabbir Dar
May 29, 2023
PTI activists and supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan gather in front of the main entrance of General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on May 9, 2023. — AFP/File
PTI activists and supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan gather in front of the main entrance of General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on May 9, 2023. — AFP/File

RAWALPINDI: Eight accused of attacking the General Headquarters (GHQ) during the May 9 protests will be transferred to military courts after the move was green lighted by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Rawalpindi.

Enraged by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest, party supporters allegedly pillaged government and military installations on May 9.

To contain the violence, the government called in the army and announced that the protesters would be tried under army laws. A large number of PTI workers and leaders were arrested in a countrywide crackdown.

The transfer of the cases was approved by ATC Judge Hamid Hussain after Deputy Prosecutor General Malik Rafqat Ali moved a petition seeking the transfer of the accused to military courts.

Two cases were registered, separately, at the Civil Lines Police Station and R A Bazaar Police Station against protesters that had attacked the GHQ following the arrest of Khan from the Islamabad High Court.

The accused booked in a first information report (FIR) registered at the Civil Lines Police Station are Ali Hussain, son of Khalilur Rehman; Lal Shah, son of Jahanzaib; Shehryar Zulfiqar, son of Zulfiqar Ahmed and Farhad Khan, son of Shahid Hussain Khan.

The request to transfer these men for trial at the military court was moved by commanding officer/military officer Farhan Nazir Qureshi.

The ones named in the FIR registered at the R A Bazar Police Station are Muhammad Idrees, son of Muhammad Sharif; Umar Farooq, son of Muhammad Sabir; Raja Muhammad Ehsan, son of Muhammad Maqsood; and Muhammad Abdullah, son of Kanwar Muhammad Ashraf Khan.

All the accused “were sent to judicial lockup as they were found guilty of offences under sections 3,7 & 9 of Official Secrets Act, 1952 read with section 2(1)(d) of Pakistan Army Act, 1952”.

The ATC also directed the superintendent of Adyala Jail to hand over the custody of accused persons to the commanding officers.

The Rawalpindi ATC approved the transfer of the accused after a similar decision was made by an ATC in Lahore last week.

On May 25, an ATC allowed the handover of 16 suspects, involved in the ransacking and vandalising of Jinnah House, to the commanding officer so they can be tried under the army laws.

In the order, ATC Judge Abher Gul Khan accepted the request of the army officer who had sought the custody of the vandals presently confined in Camp Jail, Lahore.

They were named in two separate cases filed in connection with the attack on the Corps Commander's House also known as Jinnah House.

The accused included Amar Zohaib, Ali Iftikhar, Ali Raza, Muhammad Arsalan, Muhammad Umair, Muhammad Raheem, Ziaur Rehman, Waqas Ali, Raees Ahmad, Faisal Irshad, Muhammad Bilal Hussain, Faheem Haider, Arzam Junaid, ex-PTI MPA Mian Muhammad Akram Usman, Muhammad Hashir Khan, and Hassan Shakir.