–Justice Nisar inquires about status of investigation into killings of 50 people, including lawyers and political activists on May 12, 2007
–Trials have yet to formally begin in courts as police show little interest in pursuing them despite availability of ‘crucial’ evidence
KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday summoned the case file of May 12 carnage in Karachi, which claimed the lives of over 50 people and left several others injured in the country’s financial hub in 2007.
Earlier in the day, Fateha was offered for the victims of the May 12 violence at the apex court’s Karachi Registry. Moreover, the chief justice also ordered for a Qurankhawani to be held for the deceased.
While referring to Barrister Faisal Siddiqi, the top judge asked whether the case has been investigated or not. To which, Siddiqi replied that the case is currently being heard at the Sindh High Court (SHC).
“Please tell me the case number and we will review it,” Chief Justice Nisar remarked and summoned the case file.
On May 12, 2007, at least 50 people were killed and over 140 injured after a major portion of Shahrah-e-Faisal turned into a battlefield as opposing political groups had clashed with one another after the arrival of former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to Karachi.
The former CJP had remained confined to the lounge of the airport throughout the day and returned to Islamabad without addressing a lawyers’ convention on the premises of the Sindh High Court.
Trials pertaining to violent clashes have yet to formally begin in courts as police show little interest in pursuing them despite availability of ‘crucial’ evidence, a report in the local media claimed on Saturday.
While various cases were registered by the lawyers and the political activists at different police stations, trials for only seven cases could begin and that too moved at a snail’s pace. Currently, four cases are pending trial before the anti-terrorism court-II and three before the anti-terrorism court-III since long as police investigators could not make any major breakthrough in the investigation, the report said.
However, the cases took a dramatic turn after nine years when the Rangers arrested Kamran Farooq, a member of the Sindh Assembly belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, who was absconding in several cases pertaining to May 12, on Dec 16, 2016.
Farooq, who was booked in two cases for allegedly carrying grenades and unlicensed weapons, had recorded his confessional statement before a judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), making startling revelations about the alleged involvement of the MQM leadership in one of the most violent episodes of the country’s history.
In his confessional statement, recorded on Dec 20, the then interned MQM MPA had not only confessed to his involvement in the May 12, 2007 mayhem but also implicated party leader Dr Farooq Sattar.
It may be recalled that while the police had booked and arrested 15 suspects, including City Mayor Wasim Akhtar, Mohammad Aslam alias Kala, Anwarul Hasan, Faisal Wahab, Azhar Qureshi and Mohammed Hanif in four cases relating to May 12 mayhem and had submitted a final charge sheet against them before the administrative judge of antiterrorism courts in Sept 2016, it had failed to make Kamran Farooq’s confessional statement part of evidence in those cases.
Currently, the case against the mayor and others is fixed for May 15 for their indictment, as they did not appear at four consecutive hearings.