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February 20, 2017



Sindh’s CTD revising names on Fourth Schedule

Sindh’s CTD revising names on Fourth Schedule

Approaching SBP, Nadra, FIA, BoR, home dept and cellular companies for details about suspects

Muhammad Rashid*, a resident of Karachi’s West district, is worried for the past six months. Suspected of having links with a proscribed militant outfit, the law-enforcement agencies had arrested him in 2014 and he was released by a court in 2016. However, six months later, he was informed that his name had been placed under the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Since then, he appears every week at his area’s police station and now the Sindh police’s Counter-Terrorism Department has been summoning him for interrogation.

These days, the CTD has been streamlining the list of suspects placed under the Fourth Schedule and approached the State Bank of Pakistan, the National Database and Registration Authority, the Federal Investigation Authority, the Board of Revenue, the home department and cellular companies.

This will help the department monitor movement of suspects, their accounts, properties and communication, The News has learnt.

According to Section 11EEE of the Anti-Terrorism Act, individuals on the Fourth Schedule, a list of known suspects affiliated with banned groups, must be monitored closely and need to appear regularly at police stations.

Keeping weapons, obtaining bank loans and travelling to other provinces or abroad without the authorities’ permission are prohibited.

They have to report to their area’s police station once a week and if they fail to so do, they can be arrested.

 “I can’t visit my hometown in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because of my weekly visits to the police station,” Rashid told The News.

The task of keeping an eye on Fourth Schedulers was assigned to district police and police stations. In December, the Sindh government handed over this task to the CTD, which set up a special cell for this purpose.

The CTD had recently written letters to the government departments to provide it with details of the Fourth Schedulers’ bank accounts and transactions, weapon licences and properties.

It has also asked Nadra to provide details of their CNICs and passports and their recent visits abroad.

The CTD is also revising the list of the people placed under the Fourth Schedule. There are some 564 suspects on the Fourth Schedule in Sindh, over 250 of them in Karachi.

In recent months, several names which are not relevant have been deleted to rationalise the list and brought down to around 450, said a CTD official.

Omar Shahid Hamid, the CTD SSP Intelligence, said his department was streamlining the list and focusing quality instead of quantity.

“That’s the reason that we have omitted several suspects: those whose three-year duration on the list had completed, those cleared of suspicion and those prosecuted in court,” Hamid told The News. He added that the names of suspects who were still associated with banned outfits would be included again.

After sending letters to various government departments, the law-enforcement agencies believe that the information they will receive will help them in monitoring the suspects’ funding sources and foreign tours and stopping them from changing their personal details in their CNICs, passports and weapon licences to dodge the authorities.

Recently, Dr Akmal Waheed, a cardiac specialist, had submitted a case in the Sindh High Court, seeking the omission of his name from the Fourth Schedule. He was earlier accused of having links with al-Qaeda, attacking the Karachi corps commander’s convoy in 2004, and financially aiding and harbouring activists of the banned Jundullah.

Waheed submitted in the court that he was cleared of terrorism charges by the Sindh High Court and the Supreme Court in 2005 and 2006 respectively but the home department had placed him on the Fourth Schedule and imposed certain restrictions on his free movement and other fundamental rights that were guaranteed under the Constitution.

Tariq Parvez, a security analyst and a retired senior police official, said the concept behind placing suspects under the Fourth Schedule was to impose certain restrictions on members of proscribed outfits.

“Through proper implementation of the ATA’s Fourth Schedule, the law-enforcement agencies can remain aware about the activities of proscribed outfits’ members and the restrictions imposed of them can make them anxious,” Parvez, who was the National Counter Terrorism Authority’s former head, told The News.

He recalled that during his service in Punjab, police, along with intelligence agencies in a district prepared the list of Fourth Schedulers with consensus.

*Name changed to protect privacy