End of the line for Mirza?

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  • SHC gives Mirza a last chance to show up in court, extends protective bail till May 9
  • Fehmida Mirza protests police presence outside home, says situation being created so Mirza won’t be able to attend court

The Sindh High Court on Wednesday gave a last chance to the disowned leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and former home minister Zulfiqar Mirza to show up before the concerned trial court by May 9.

A division bench, headed by Chief Justice Faisal Arab, extended until May 9 the protective bail of Zulfiqar Mirza in four criminal cases registered against him for allegedly attacking a police station and forcing shutdown of markets in Badin district.

At the outset of the hearing, the counsel for Mirza told the judges that the Badin police besieged the farmhouse of Mirza to arrest him despite the fact that he was out on bail. The acts of the police force to arrest him constitute contempt proceedings, said the counsel, while requesting the judges to proceed against them for defying its order. The court was further pleaded to extend his bail so that he could appear in the trial court.

However, Mustafa Mahesar, provincial law officer opposed the plea of Mirza’s counsel, saying he has disturbed the law and order situation of the district. He said that Mirza had created a state of panic in the district.

Earlier, Ashraf Samo submitted in the petition that on May 3, Badin police arrested a supporter of Mirza, Nadeem Mughal, a businessperson, and snatched Rs 5 million in cash, a car, documents and other belongings from him. However, he was later freed when crowds of people gathered and protested against his arrest.

Subsequently, he stated, Mirza along with his supporters had gone to Model Police Station to register an FIR against the arrest, but the police officials posted there declined to entertain his plea, adding that even they refused to record a statement under Section 154 of CrPC, which is violation of the law.

On the contrary, the counsel claimed that the police officers not only misbehaved with Mirza and used abusive language but they registered four fabricated cases against him and his supporters under Anti-Terrorism Act. He said that Mirza was confined to his house at Badin, fearing his arrest and subsequent death at the hands of Rao Anwar, who, he claimed, is the right hand of Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and has been posted as SSP Badin to kill him in an encounter.

SHC THROWS OUT PPP PETITIONS:

Moreover, the SHC on Wednesday threw out a petition filed by two PPP legislators against Mirza for allegedly making derogatory remarks about former president Zardari in the media.

A division bench, headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, dismissed the petition for not being maintainable.

Nominating the PEMRA chair, the Information Ministry and nine TV channels as respondents, two MPAs, Tariq Masood Arain and Imdad Ali Pitafi, requested the court to restrain Mirza from making disparaging remarks about Zardari.

In the petition, they submitted that a few days ago Mirza took a jibe at Zardari. They said that such remarks are likely to incite violence or disturb the maintenance of the law and order situation due to the anti-national and anti-state attitude of Mirza.

FEHMIDA GIVES LAST WARNING TO PPP:

In the meanwhile, former National Assembly speaker Fehmida Mirza warned the party to withdraw the fake FIR registered against Mirza otherwise she will not be afraid of holding a press conference similar to the one held by her husband.

While talking to media in Badin, she said that if PPP continue to push her and Zulfiqar Mirza against the wall then she would disclose some secrets, which will put PPP in trouble. She appealed to SHC chief justice to take to notice of the contempt court done by the Sindh government.

The former NA speaker said that the FIRs against her husband Zulfiqar Mirza are multiplying rapidly. She said in a lighter note that she think FIR are giving birth to their children as they increased from two to four within the span of two days.

Fehmida said that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah now should awake for his dream. She arrived back in Badin where her husband Mirza received her at his farmhouse in Wednesday’s wee hours.

Fehmida communicated with police personnel stationed outside the farmhouse in order to sound them out about the purpose of their deployment outside her house. However, she failed to elicit an appropriate answer from them. She was videotaped while talking to a police officer sitting in a police van, “I am asking you to move out from the front of my house.”

On her query about the purpose of their heavy presence, a police officer uttered, “We suppose we are here for your security.” She responded, “I got your security. Purpose has been served. Now, you may leave.”

The first lady speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly asserted she was not furnished with the security all through the way from Karachi, adding, “I was escorted by my own three security guards.” She spoke to several police officers to know the name of the officer who deputed them outside the farmhouse but to no avail.

“Zulfiqar Mirza is being subjected to immense pressure so that he surrenders,” she pointed out hinting at heavy police presence outside her house.