Renegade officer: ‘Al Qaeda hit-man’ may walk free as witnesses retract

Published: February 27, 2012

Sindh requests Punjab for his transfer to province. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: 

Alleged al Qaeda member Major Haroon, accused of murder and kidnapping for ransom, may be released soon after most witnesses and complainants withdrew their testimonies.

Major Haroon quit the army in 2002 against what he called pro-American policies of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. He then allegedly joined al Qaeda.

Fearing his release, the Sindh Home Department sent a letter to the home department of Punjab requesting that Haroon be transferred from Punjab to Sindh. Haroon is also accused of being involved in the kidnapping case of prominent businessman Satish Anand.

Haroon, along with two other co-accused, is presently imprisoned in Kot Lakhpat jail on charges of killing an administrator of Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Dr Abdul-Saboor Malik, in Lahore.

The men are being tried by the additional and sessions judge inside the prison because of the sensitivity of the matter, police and prosecution department’s sources told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.

Before being shifted to Kot Lakhpat Jail, the three men were in Adiala Jail for their alleged involvement in the murders of Major General (retd) Ameer Faisal Alvi, his driver and a passer-by in 2008.

Sources familiar with the high-profile murders said armed men wanted to kidnap Dr Saboor for ransom and they killed him when he resisted. Similarly, Alvi was also gunned down by men who intercepted him for kidnapping.

The investigations of Saboor’s murder case reveal that the accused had been tasked to kidnap affluent people as al Qaeda was in dire need of money, sources added.

During a briefing in the Sindh Assembly last week on former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s murder, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had confirmed Haroon’s contacts with al Qaeda.

In the initial stages of the investigation, Lahore police had registered a case against the accused on charges of kidnapping for ransom and murder of Saboor under Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and some sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). However, the Lahore High Court later ordered that the ATA section be deleted. The court directed the investigation officer to investigate the case under the PPC and to submit a charge sheet before a lower court.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Parvez
    Feb 27, 2012 - 12:16PM

    A system that is incapable of prosecuting a known offender does not deserve to be upheld, it must be changed.

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  • poor justice
    Feb 27, 2012 - 12:18PM

    sad & pathetic…..

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  • ishtiaer hussain
    Feb 27, 2012 - 12:50PM

    Soon the captain sahib will be free to kill more. Our courts are favoring terrorists so openly that I wonder they might have some kind of hidden agenda to promote terrorism in Pakistan. Why did the Lahore High Court instruct for the removal of the clauses of Anti-Terrorism Act from the FIR lodged against such a dangerous terrorist? Now what option do our security agencies have other than to kill such hard-core terrorists in extra-judicial encounters.

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  • Pro Pakistani
    Feb 27, 2012 - 12:50PM

    Unarmed and innocent people have no “HUMAN RIGHTS”, Most of these terrorists are now being helped by the Human Rights organizations and media by fighting for their human rights. Courts continue to take easy path and releasing terrorists when the witnesses failed to come forward under thgreat of repraisal.
    The answer lies in Military courts backed up by the people of Pakistan, Media nd judiciary.

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  • ishtiaer hussain
    Feb 27, 2012 - 12:57PM

    I request the management of Express Tribune to come up with a new way of publishing readers’ comments online. The censoring of comments should be eased keeping in view the universal principle of freedom of expression and comments should be published in real-time. The method of posting comments should be made easier and instant. A news-website of the stature of ET should promote freedom of expression, do away with every sort of censorship and encourage as many readers posting comments on-line as possibe.

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  • Mj
    Feb 27, 2012 - 1:10PM

    Why do we even need to rely on only the testimony from witnesses. Forensic evidence should suffice. The law is in major need of upgradation.

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  • Ishrat Salim
    Feb 27, 2012 - 1:22PM

    This is Pakistan…where for the common interest of 2 major political parties 20th ammendment for passed in one day, while law to bring relief to comon men is far distant away.Then on what ground do these people say to represent the people…? & yet the present bye-election shows – ” how stupid we are ? “…we are again re-electing the same bunch of cheats….which means we hv lost all moral values & conscience…which means ” what we are inflicted with is what we deserve “…the only way expected to bring CHANGE is…one day one disgruntled / disgusted rouge element will just go on a killing rampage to eliminate these political elements once & for all…& that day / time is not very far away….how long such elements will sit & watch what is going around with them & their families…which will invite anarchy & civil war….this is where we are heading.Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Feb 27, 2012 - 2:01PM

    @ishtiaer hussain:

    I whole heartedly support Mr. Ishtiaer Hussain —– in this day and age gagging public opinion is not a policy that anyone can defend, especially, the people in the Media, including the print media. Ownership or editorship of a News Paper, including Express Tribune, does NOT and should not allow you to tolerate, if not encourage, the feudal mind set. You just can not feudalize even the press, supposedly ‘freed-press’, the very beacon and harbinger of ‘Freedom of Speech’ and ‘Right to Information’ .

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  • Kafka
    Feb 27, 2012 - 2:17PM

    Rule of jungle prevails in this country

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  • MarkH
    Feb 27, 2012 - 2:46PM

    @Mj:
    As much as I side with the spirit of your comment, if they didn’t get the forensics early, they’re gone. Even if they did, taking the charges into consideration and who he was involved with, there’s very little they would have to confirm those forensics and turn them into something concrete. Forensics can be ambiguous if the system used does not have the database to validate it.
    I just wish they could use fear of testifying as evidence. Though I suppose the survival rate of witnesses would just drop drastically.

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  • Blithe
    Feb 27, 2012 - 2:54PM

    Funny that Sindh is asking for him
    given their worse than pathetic record
    with target killers.

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  • Mr. Honest
    Feb 27, 2012 - 3:00PM

    This is not the only case… there are hundreds and hundreds of terrorists being held by Army due to the same reason… And the media keeps on screaming missing missing missing… what should they do? release them again because this system cannot prosecute them? they will create havoc in society/nwfp in particular, again.

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  • Americano
    Feb 27, 2012 - 3:37PM

    How about a bullet to the temple from close range delivered quietly and without fuss one evening in his cell?

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  • Haris Bin Tariq
    Feb 27, 2012 - 4:01PM

    kill him! just kill him!

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  • Mirza
    Feb 27, 2012 - 9:38PM

    Why is this major not tried in a military court in the first place? The PCO judiciary is great in prosecuting political cases but when it comes to terrorists they are powerless. Why would the court not appoint a prosecutor of their choice (like they insist in political cases) and give protection to witnesses? There has not been a terrorist which these courts did not find innocent. Even Qadri is having a good life in jail, while S. Taseer’s son is abducted. Our generals have been so involved in Memo and other manufactured cases that they cannot even tackle this major. If this is not height of corruption on their part then what is?

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  • ASAD KHARAL (Author)
    Mar 11, 2012 - 8:08PM

    ‘High profile terrorists’ acquitted after witnesses retract statements
    Here is a link
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/348296/high-profile-terrorists-acquitted-after-witnesses-retract-statements/

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