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Karachi

November 15, 2017

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ATC frees suspected facilitator, terms cases ‘untraceable’

ATC frees suspected facilitator, terms cases ‘untraceable’

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) accepted on Tuesday the police report that declared the suspected facilitator of the Jauhar knifeman as “innocent” in five cases. The court recommended freeing him and termed the cases “A class”, or “untraceable”.

Female citizens in Gulistan-e-Jauhar were terrorised with knife attacks since late September until the following month. Shehzad was believed to have been an accomplice of the assailant. The investigating officer had told the administrative judge of the ATCs last month that the two men were friends and that they hailed from the same village in Sahiwal.

The IO claimed that Shehzad had admitted to the police that he provided cover to the knifeman during his attacks and also conducted reconnaissance for him. When Shehzad was arrested, a knife was found in his possession, said the IO.

On Tuesday, however, the court accepted the plea of the police to free Shehzad due to want of proofs against him. Shehzad was suspected to be the knifeman’s facilitator, but this assumption could not be proved.

The police report said that despite thorough interrogation and investigation, the law enforcers had failed to gather any sound proof against Shehzad that could tie him to the knifeman. Over a month ago an official of the country’s top security agency had told The News that the Ansarul Sharia Pakistan (ASP) might be responsible for the knife attacks on female citizens in Gulistan-e-Jauhar.

“The eight-member ASP is following in the footsteps of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in order to divert the focus of the investigators cracking down on them.”

However, East Range DIGP Sultan Ali Khawaja said the police did not suspect the involvement of terrorists in the knife attacks, adding that according to police interviews, all the survivors were “decently attired” at the time of the attacks. He argued that terrorists usually targeted women for wearing what they saw as “indecent”, and that the attacker was subjecting his targets to light injuries.

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