Treason cases registered against KBA members
KARACHI: The City Court police have registered a case against Karachi Bar Association (KBA) members and lawyers for treason and provocation and have started carrying out raids for their arrests. Furthermore, KBA President Javaid Iftikhar Qazi will be arrested again after he is released for the MPO (maintenance of public order) charges.
Meanwhile, some lawyers, including (retd) chief justice of Sindh High Court Shafi Mohammadi, and activists of different Opposition parties were reportedly released from the prison after orders from the Home Department.
Sources said that the City Court police lodged FIR No. 114/07, under Sections 124-A, 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) for treason and provocation, against 13 lawyers on behalf of City Court Police Station SHO Inspector Zahid Hussain. Section 124-A describes treason and provocation and, accordingly, the punishment is death or imprisonment for life.
The following lawyers were nominated in the FIR: Javaid Tanoli, Sabir Tanoli, Masoodur Rehman, Maqboolur Rehman, Jamila A. Farooq, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Aslam Bhutta, Khurram Nisar, KBA President Javaid Iftikhar Qazi, KBA General Sectary Naeem Qureshi, KBA Joint Sectary Hafiz Baloch, KBA Treasurer Naseer Abbasi and KBA member Javaid K. K.
A team has also been formed to arrest these lawyers. The team is being headed by Risala SPO Malik Mazhar Hussain and includes Zahid Hussain, City Court SIO Aslam Khakrani, Tariq Islam and others.
Zahid Hussain told Daily Times that eight of the lawyers mentioned above were passing out leaflets to lawyers, citizens and even policemen who were at City Court on Tuesday. They were acting under orders from the KBA and that’s why five of the KBA’s top officials were added to the FIR as well, he said.
The leaflet that was being passed around heavily criticized General Parvez Musharraf and the government and contained statements such as: the emergency is against the Constitution; the General has suspended the Constitution, the judiciary and human rights; and the present government is destroying the masses.
Police raided the homes of these lawyers, such as in Garden West, Clifton, Surjani, Shah Faisal Colony and others, but none of them were arrested at the time this report was filed because they were not home.
SHO Hussain said that the whereabouts of these lawyers are currently unknown and they fled for fear of being arrested. Some of the lawyers have even left the city, but, the police have some clues as to their whereabouts and arrests will be made soon, he added.
Except for the KBA president, who was arrested Monday from outside City Court, all of the lawyers nominated in the FIR are “absconders,” said Hussain. Qazi will be arrested again and sent back to prison after he is released, he added.
Over 6,000 prisoners are being held in Central Jail, even though the jail just has a capacity for 2,500. All the lawyers and activists who were arrested have been lumped into barracks.
Sources said that 281 lawyers and activists were shifted to Central Jail and over 20 were shifted to Landhi Jail, on MPO charges. Sources also said that five people, mostly lawyers and including retired chief justice Shafi Mehmoodi, were released by orders of the Sindh Home Department, but, all others are still being detained.
It was also reported that some of the lawyers who were taken into custody from outside the premises of the courts and later shifted to either Central or Landhi jail have fallen sick.
Daily Times tried to contact IGP (Jail) Yamin Khan but he said that he couldn’t talk because he was busy. And the Home Sectary was not available for comments either.