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September 22, 2019

Anti-terrorism court confiscates Akhtar’s passport again


September 22, 2019

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday once again confiscated the passport of Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar. The court also reprimanded him over the state of the metropolis, telling him to do something for the city that is riddled with heaps of garbage.

Last week the ATC judge had granted permission to Akhtar to fly to the UAE. The mayor had contended that he should be given back his passport because he wanted to go to Dubai for some official purpose.

The judge said Akhtar was allowed to leave the country for only an official visit, adding that if he had not made any such visit, he should return his passport to the court. The mayor’s passport has been in the ATC’s custody as surety that he will not escape the country.

Akhtar is facing several cases of terrorism, including the one pertaining to allegedly providing shelter to criminals at the Ziauddin hospitals in collusion with former federal petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain, who owns the private health facilities.

According to the prosecution, the mayor and leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and other political parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pasban, provided shelter to target killers and other criminals at the Ziauddin hospitals in Clifton and North Nazimabad.

Dr Hussain is accused of facilitating the shelter and violating the law by not informing the police about the treatments of gunshot cases and known criminals who were also declared absconders. He, however, denies the charges.

In the previous hearing, the court had summoned Inayatullah Durrani, the Rangers officer who had lodged an FIR against the former federal minister, the city mayor and others.

Earlier, the court had witnessed the cross-examination over the statement of a District Central judicial magistrate, who had recorded a confessional statement of Dr Yousuf Sattar, an official of the Ziauddin hospitals, against Dr Hussain.

According to the prosecution, Dr Sattar conceded to the contents of the FIR in his statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and admitted that at least 28 criminals belonging to different political parties were provided medical treatment at the private hospitals in North Nazimabad and Clifton.

During the hearing, Dr Hussain had claimed that the judicial magistrate was deliberately misrepresenting the case against him. Stating this, the ex-minister requested that the CCTV camera recordings of the judicial magistrate’s court be recovered in this regard. All of the accused nominated in the case are currently on bail and have been on trial since 2015.

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