KARACHI: Senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Rabita Committee member Amir Khan was released from Karachi Central Jail on Tuesday, a day after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) granted him bail.
Yesterday, the ATC had granted bail to Khan in a case pertaining to instigating terrorism and harbouring criminals. The ATC-2 had ordered Khan to pay Rs1 million in surety bonds which was submitted today.
The court had also ordered that Khan cannot leave the country without permission. The judge told Khan that his bail was approved due to faulty investigation into the allegations against him.
The ATC-2 had on June 26 reserved its order on the bail application of the MQM leader, who was taken into custody on March 11 during a pre-dawn raid carried out by Rangers on and around the party’s Nine Zero headquarters in Azizabad on March 11.
The Rangers had claimed that they had apprehended nearly half-a-dozen targeted killers during the raid — including Faisal Mehmood aka Mota who had been sentenced to death in absentia for his involvement in the murder of television journalist Wali Khan Babar.
On June 4, the Rangers handed Aamir Khan over to the police after registering a case against him for allegedly providing shelter to 26 wanted suspects arrested by Rangers during the March 11 raid and using them for terrorist activities.
Mr Khan’s counsel, Advocate Shaukat Hayat, moved the bail plea in court and argued that the allegations against his client were baseless since there was no independent witness in the case and all the prosecution witnesses placed in the charge sheet were Rangers and police officials.
He submitted that the prosecution remained unable to bring out any incriminating evidence against the applicant despite detaining him for around three months, adding that the arrested suspects had also not deposed against him for sheltering them.
Advocate Hayat contended that hundreds of people worked at the MQM’s headquarters and thousands others visited it daily and it was difficult to identify criminals among them.
However, the special public prosecutor of Rangers opposed the bail application and claimed that the applicant’s custody was necessary as investigation had not yet been completed.
The Rangers’ raid at the headquarters of one of the largest political parties in the country today appears to have symbolic significance in the Karachi operation that has been underway since October 2013.
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