M. M. ALAM
KARACHI: Following the disclosure that some of the militants killed in June 2014 Airport attack belonged to this Metropolis, ten bodies were exhumed from the Edhi Graveyard for collection of DNA samples here in Mowaach Goth on Tuesday (22 Nov.).
Health officials carried out the 5-hour-long operation under the supervision of (1) Judicial Magistrate Malir.
It is pertinent to mention here that earlier it was assumed that all the Karachi Airport attackers were foreigners. But recently arrested militants belonging to banned outfits like LeJ have disclosed that many of those terrorists were homegrown activists.
RELEVANT PIECE PUBLISHED EARLIER
Bodies of Karachi airport attackers to be exhumed today for DNA
KARACHI: On the directives of a legal court, a medical board will exhume and examine bodies of ten attackers involved in Karachi airport attack that took place two years ago in June 2014.
The medical board, under the supervision of a judicial officer, will disinter the bodies buried at the Mowachh Goth graveyard today (Tuesday).
The decision followed after a judicial magistrate in Karachi directed the health authorities to constitute a medical board since police moved court for the exhumation of the bodies for DNA testing.
The four-member medical team will collect samples for DNA tests to establish the identity of the killed assailants.
A medical team comprising 10 to 15 members will collect samples for DNA tests to establish the identity of the killed assailants in the presence of the judicial magistrate.
According to an official of the medical board, the decision was taken as the previous samples obtained by the police investigators had not been secured properly.
Around 10 militants, armed with automatic weapons, grenades and a rocket launcher stormed Karachi airport in June, 2014, killing 26 people, including personnel of the Airport Security Force, police and Rangers at the Hajj terminal of the airport.
They were later killed in the hours-long gun battle with army commandos and personnel of other security forces. The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan reportedly claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.
“The bodies of the unidentified attackers, whose origin had been presumed as Central Asian, were buried after their DNA samples had been collected by police investigators for identification purpose. The samples were sent for examination to the forensic laboratory in Islamabad, but the forensic experts later claimed that the samples were lost because they had not been ‘secured’ properly,” said sources in the police.
Three militants linked to Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (Naeem Bukhari group) are facing trial before an anti-terrorism court for allegedly providing logistic support, funds and weapons to the attackers.
During the interrogation, one militant Ishaq alias Bobby told police that his brother-in-law, Majid, and his friend, Hisham, were killed in the airport attack
Raja Umer Khattab, officer of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of police told media that LJ suspects Majid and Hisham were allegedly involved in 28 high-profile murder cases including Qawwal Ajmad Sabri and security personnel killing.
Rao Anwar Case: ATC sends former SSP on judicial remand till 2nd of May!
KARACHI: Former SSP Rao Anwar, allegedly involved in extra-judicial killings – including of Naqeebullah Mehsud – has been sent to jail on judicial remand till 2nd day of May.
Rao Anwar, who was brought to ATC in an APC, appeared quite composed despite facing noose if proven guilty. IO of the case had requested the court to send Anwar on judicial remand facilitating him to prepare and submit final challan of the case.
He maintained that the challan was to be registered as per the new JIT recommendation that has been formed to investigate the case.
While Rao and another accused Shakeel had been sent to jail till 2nd of April, the judicial remand of other suspects was extended until an unfixed date.
Rao Anwar, eleven of his incarcerated and fourteen bolted subordinates are accused of kidnapping Naqeebullah Mehsud for ransom, murdering him and other three detainees in an orchestrated ‘encounter’. The staged killing was termed as an encounter against ‘militants’ by policemen.
The gang has also been booked in a case for planting hand-grenades and pistols on the four victims after murdering them. Citing the planted arms and explosives a fabricated case was also registered by Rao Anwar & gang against the deceased.
Protection of fundamental rights demanded by civil society!
KARACHI: Press Club here was the venue where members of the civil society and human rights activists today expressed their serious concern over the deteriorating situation of human rights in the country.
Speakers pointed towards the curbs on basic freedoms and demanded the government to ensure provision of fundamental rights to all the citizens.
Civil society activists including Karamat Ali of Pakistan Civil Society Forum and National Labour Council; Habibuddin Junaidi, Convener of Sindh Labour Solidarity Committee; Dr. Riaz Shaikh, Deal Faculty of Social Sciences, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST); Ms. Mahnaz Rahman, Aurat Foundation; Ms. Nagma Iqtidar, Democratic Student Federation (DSF); Jameel Junejo, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum; and Jannat Gul of Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign expressed their concern over enforced disappearances in various parts of the country.
Speaking on the occasion Karamat Ali said a number of political and civil society activists were still missing in different parts of the country. Many such people were reportedly taken away by the law enforcement agencies from their homes and the state has failed to produce them in any court of law.
“Families of such missing persons are facing numerous problems including psychological, economic and social problems, but they fail to find any clue or where about of their beloved ones. It is a big human tragedy and the courts are unable to provide any relief to such families.
“Commission on Inquiry into the Enforced Disappearances has also failed to deliver so either it should be disbanded or reformed to work effectively under the new leadership. Due course of law and right to fair trail should be ensured
“For many weeks now, transmissions of a leading news TV channel Geo News is suspended by cable operators in many parts of the country due to unknown reasons.
We believe, this is a direct attack on the freedom of press. There is a long history of struggle for freedom of expression and speech in Pakistan. The media is facing restrictions on behest of certain forces in the establishment, who enjoy impunity and there is no accountability of them.”
Karamat further said: “As the current government is completing its tenure and we are hopefully moving towards the next general elections, we demand a grand dialogue on ensuring basic freedoms.
It is important to review the situation of basic rights during the last five years and find reasons and pin point the actors behind curtailing people’s rights.
We must have a collective agenda and commitment to basic rights and mechanism in place that ensure that fundamental freedoms are not compromised and restricted in any circumstances.”
He said the civil society would soon be holding a series of meetings with all major political parties in this regard and seek support and commitments on this important issue, which is also important ingredient of a fair, transparent political system.
Right to assembly, association, speech and religious belief are fundamental human rights guaranteed under international conventions and Constitution of Pakistan. However, these laws have come under severe attack for the last many years with some disturbing developments in the recent days.
Though it is important for civil society and trade unions to raise these issues through media and ask the government to refrain from actions, which undermine the basic rights. Government rather should ensure that people continue to enjoy these rights.
First issue is that of restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly at educational institutions. We are very much concerned the way a seminar scheduled at Hahib University was stopped at the last moment and invited guests were misbehaved.
There are other examples that seminars or debates were not allowed inside universities campuses at many places in the country. Faculty members who speak in favour of these freedoms have been fired. We believe that these actions to curb freedom of speech and assembly at campuses will have very negative impact on the society.
Despite the announcements of restoration of students unions since 2008, the unions are still banned in the public as well as private universities and colleges all over the country. A professor in Punjab University is removed from the service on charges of creating critical thinking among students.
“We are equally concerned the way certain political leaders are being targeted and restrictions are being imposed on their basic freedoms such as freedom of speech. All institutions must respect each other and also citizens of Pakistan,” Karamat Ali said.
We are also concerned the way the social movements are being targeted. We condemn the arrest of Younis Iqbal, Founder of Anjuman e Mazareen, a peasant’s movement in Punjab.
It is shameful that he has been arrested in fake cases and declared a terrorist. It looks like our authorities have never learned from past and using the same tactics of declaring peaceful citizens terrorist to achieve certain monetary goal. Okara’s peasant movement is a well known rights movement and we support their just demands and ask for immediate release of Younis and others.
Similarly, there are recent terrorist attacks on people and worship places of minorities communities in various parts of Pakistan. Many lives have been lost on targeted attacks on Christians in Quetta and some parts of Punjab. Attacks on already fragile minorities are casting very badly on Pakistan’s image internationally and also internally.
Government must take measures to ensure that basic right of life is protected. All those involved in these heinous crimes be arrested and punished. It is also important that victims’ families are adequately compensated and protected.
Korangi Karachi Administration removes encroachments!
KARACHI: Korangi Karachi Administration has removed encroachments from Mehran Town including residential units and illegal water hydrants during its four day anti encroachment campaign launched by Deputy Commissioner Korangi Abdul Wajid Sheikh.
As many as nine water tankers and other vehicles were also impounded during action against illegal water hydrants, said a statement today.
The illegal water connection which was taken from water supply line between Korangi road to PAF Base has also been disconnected with the help heavy machinery, said Wajid Sheikh.
Assistant Commissioner Revenue Muhammad Waseemuddin, Assistant Commissioner Korangi Najeeb Jamali, Mukhtiyarkar Korangi Ahmed Memon, the officials of Water Board and SP Landhi Shaban Ali also participated in the anti encroachment operation.