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June 20, 2021

ATC seeks evidence for Wasim Akhtar’s involvement in May 12 mayhem

 
June 20, 2021

An anti-terrorism court on Saturday directed the police to produce witnesses against Muttahida Qaumi Movement- Pakistan leader Wasim Akhtar in cases pertaining to the May 12, 2007 mayhem in Karachi.

More than 50 people were murdered and over 100 wounded as gunmen attacked rallies across the city going to welcome the then deposed chief justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, at Jinnah International Airport.

At that time, Akhtar served as the adviser to the chief minister for home department and enjoyed full status as a minister. He was charged in seven of these cases in 2016 after he was arrested following the crackdown against his party.

According to the prosecution, Akhtar, misusing his authority, gave a free hand to criminal elements belonging to the MQM who attacked people belonging to other political parties to prevent them from reaching the airport.

The ATC-VII directed the investigation officer to ensure the presence witnesses in the court on the next hearing on July 17 as the case was lingering because the prosecution had been unable to produce evidences against the accused.

Akhtar is currently on bail. In his plea before the court at the time of his indictment, he had maintained that he was falsely implicated in these cases out of political and ulterior motives. He was serving as the mayor of Karachi then.

The cases were registered under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed), 109 (punishment of abetment), 324 (punishment of abetment) and 34 (common intention) at the Airport police station.