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June 12, 2020

ATC seeks progress report on action against May 12 case absconders

Karachi

June 12, 2020

An anti-terrorism court on Thursday sought a report from police over the proclamation and attachment of properties of several political activists allegedly absconding in a case pertaining to the May 12, 2007, mayhem in the city.

Police had booked Abdul Bari Kakar, Wakeel Khan, Mushtaq and Habibullah and some 400-500 unidentified activists of the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Awami National Party for their alleged involvement in the riots and killings that day.

Previously, the court had ordered the police to start the process of the proclamation of the absconders and the attachment of their properties under the sections 87 and 88 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and to submit compliance reports.

At the outset of the hearing, ATC-II was informed that the investigation officer could not appear, for he was on leave and had gone to condole the death of a relative in his hometown. The court approved the plea to adjourn the hearing till July 3 and called the report again.

On May 12, 2007, almost all mainstream political parties, including the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the PPP, the JI and the ANP, took to the streets to welcome or to oppose the arrival of the then deposed chief justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, in the city to address a lawyers’ gathering. As soon as the plane carrying Justice Chaudhry landed at the Karachi airport, a spree of violence began in the city, which culminated with 50 deaths and over 100 injuries.

The deposed chief justice remained inside the airport for at least nine hours and then was forced to leave the city without addressing the gathering, which had been organised under the lawyers’ movement for the restoration of judiciary.

Several trials pertaining to the horrific carnage are going on at anti-terrorism courts. Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, who was the de-facto home minister in the province then, along with several other members of his party has been charged with a number of crimes that occurred on May 13 over 13 years ago. Meanwhile, several people from other parties also face the charges.