Pakistani prosecutors decline cases against militants

By Awais Saleem, IANS,

Islamabad: Public prosecutors in Pakistan have refused to proceed with cases involving suspected militants on the pretext that the banned terror outfits are threatening them with dire consequences if they appeared in court.

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Media reports Saturday said the anti-terrorism court in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest metropolis, could not try cases against arrested suspects belonging to militant outfits because no public prosecutor was present.

“Judge Anand Ram was scheduled to hear a case against arrested suspects of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, while Judge Hasan Bokhari was to hear a case against an accused linked with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan,” Aaj TV reported.

“We are receiving constant threats from accomplices of these terrorists and can’t risk our lives anymore,” a public prosecutor were quoted as saying.

“We requested the police to provide us adequate security but it has failed to do so,” he said.

The anti-terrorism court has issued notices to the Sindh home secretary and the chief secretary to appear before it on the next date of hearing and explain why the public prosecutors – Muhammad Khan Bararo and Mubashir Mirza – who were to appear on behalf of the government, did not come to the court.

At least 19 people were killed and over 140 injured in a suicide bombing targeting a police station in Karachi Thursday night, just a day after six Lashkar-i-Jhangvi militants were arrested carrying lethal weapons and other sensitive materials.

Last month, a shrine was attacked, while two Shia processions were targets of suicide bombings earlier this year.

“We have arrested 56 high-profile terrorists during the last couple of months and are being targeted for revenge,” Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza said after Thursday’s deadly attack on the police station where the arrested militants were being kept.

Taliban has claimed responsibility for all these attacks and is known to work in tandem with Lashkar-i-Jhangvi for terror strikes in urban areas.

(Awais Saleem can be contacted at [email protected])