ATC adjourns hearing until March 6


An anti-terrorism court (ATC) heard arguments on Thursday on a plea from Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi Chairman Afaq Ahmed to adopt pervious evidence in a kidnapping for ransom case against him.
Ahmed along with his accomplices was booked in May 2001 for allegedly kidnapping Jameel Baloch, a sub-divisional officer of KDA, from Korangi and demanding ransom for his release.
A case (FIR No 201/2001) was lodged under Section 365-A (kidnapping to extort money) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act at the Korangi police station.
On Thursday, when the case came up for hearing before ATC-II judge Khalida Yasin, the public prosecutor opposed the application and, referring to some legal points, argued that the plea was not maintainable as the nature of the present case was different from those cases in which the adoption of pervious evidence went in the interest of justice.
When the applicant’s counsel sought time to rebut the arguments of the prosecutor, the court put off the hearing until March 6.
In November 2001, the same court had acquitted three accused and convicted as many in the present case. Talking to the media in the ATC premises, the Haqiqi chief lambasted the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for organising an all women rally.
He was of the view that women’s dancing at public places is not a tradition of the Urdu-speaking community and he was ashamed to see the public gathering of women arranged by the MQM.
“The dance of women and young girls on roads and streets was a shameful act,” he said. “We should have respect for the women and elders.”
In reply to a question, Ahmed said that he is in contact with all political parties, including the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, and he would like to gather all parties on the agenda of de-weaponising Karachi. He added that in pursuance of the Supreme Court orders, cases of criminal nature should be reopened that were closed due to the National Reconciliation Ordinance.