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July 20, 2016

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Waseem Akhtar, Rauf Siddiqui, Anis Qaimkhani and Qadir Patel arrested

KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) rejected the pleas of two senior leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a leader of the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), Anis Qaimkhani, and also a leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Abdul Qadir Patel, to extend the period of interim bail and ordered their arrest as alleged facilitators of outlaws who were provided medical treatment by Dr Asim Hussain.

Waseem Akhtar, Rauf Siddiqui and Anis Qaimkhani were arrested as they left the courtroom while Abdul Qadir Patel managed to escape from the court premises. However, Patel later surrendered to the Boat Basin police.

Waseem Akhtar told the media that he had come back from London a day ago only to attend the proceedings of the trial court. He pointed out that he had filed an application to extend the period of his bail as has been happening in the past.

Waseem Akhtar said that his bail plea was rejected due to some “JIT report” and it was unlawful as the approval of the JIT was made without making any amendment to the Constitution.

He termed his arrest unlawful and illegal and said the decision would be challenged in the Sindh High Court if his attorneys were provided an opportunity to go there.

Meanwhile, as the Home Minister of Sindh, Sohail Anwar Siyal, came to know about the escape of Abdul Qadir Patel, he ordered his arrest immediately. Later, Qadir Patel himself surrendered to the police.

Abdul Qadir Patel said that as he arrived to surrender before the court concerned, the gates of the court had been locked. He said he was a political worker and would prefer to face the trial and would never run away.

As the ATC concerned (headed by Khalida Yaseen) rejected the pleas and ordered to ensure the apprehension of the four accused, the Investigation Officer (IO) prayed the court to pass a ruling for provision of some guards for the arrest of the four accused.

He also prayed the court not to allow the accused to go out of the courtroom.The defence attorneys resisted the IO and passed some remarks against him but the doors of the court were shut.

The court said that it was going to reject the bail plea of the four accused after it considered the statements of the eyewitnesses and other witnesses who have already given their evidence.

Former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain is facing charges of abetting terrorists and providing them medical treatment at his hospital.Prior to the arrest of the accused, the police personnel had locked the gates leading out of the court premises, with strict security not allowing the MQM and PSP leaders to leave the building.

Speaking to Geo News earlier, MQM leader Waseem Akhtar claimed that they were unlawfully detained inside the building, with police not even allowing their lawyer to leave the building to file an appeal at the Sindh High Court.“Today is a dark day in the history of Pakistan. We are being framed on the basis of a fake JIT report,” Waseem Akhtar told Geo News by telephone earlier.

 

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