ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s slain special public prosecutor, Chaudary Zulfiqar Ali, never shirked from the pursuit of justice. His family, however, has not yet been provided the same.
The murder trial of the FIA’s prosecutor has been pending adjudication for the last three years. The suspects have not even been indicted yet. The late prosecutor’s son, Chaudhary Muhammad Nisar Ali, has filed a petition with the Islamabad High Court seeking directions for an anti-terrorism court (ATC) to conduct the trial of his father’s alleged killers on a day-to-day basis and conclude the case within a stipulated time.
Considered among the most dynamic prosecutors in the country for his defiance of death threats to pursue cases against suspects with powerful connections, Zulfiqar’s own case has gone nowhere since he was shot 17 times while going to court for a hearing of the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.
On May 3, 2013, Ali along with his Frontier Constabulary guard, Farman Ali, was on his way to appear before a Rawalpindi ATC in connection with the case into the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, where unidentified men opened indiscriminate fire on him.
A female passerby, Robina Mustafa, was run over by Ali’s vehicle after he lost control over it.
Nisar stated that one of the attackers was shot and injured by the guard. He added that the Margalla police arrested Muhammad Abdullah Umar from the Quaid-e-Azam International Hospital and submitted an incomplete supplementary charge sheet against him in the case.
Later, suspects including Hammad Hussain Adil and his brother Adnan Adil, were arrested by the police. In the petition, Nisar said the case started on June 25, 2013, and all three of them were standing trial. He alleged that Umar was allegedly involved in the killing of his father, adding that 36 prosecution witnesses were produced against the suspects, but the “trial court failed to properly frame charges against the accused persons despite the lapse of more than three years.”
He stated that the ATCs were established “for the purpose of providing speedy trial of the cases” and after taking cognisance of a case, the court shall “proceed with the trial from day-to-day and shall decide it within seven days.”
Meanwhile, he said that Umar was granted bail on medical grounds by the ATC. He added that a “grave injustice has been done to the petitioner while granting bail to the accused.”
While requesting the court to cancel his post-arrest bail, he said that the court called in reports from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) and Polyclinic, but did not request any report from the National Institute of Rehabilitation and Medicine, where Umar was being treated.
On June 24, 2015, Nisar said the case was fixed before the ATC for framing of charges against the suspects when a relative of Umar claimed in court that Umar had been picked up by the intelligence agencies when he was travelling along with his cousins near on June 20.
Subsequently, he said, the ATC judge stayed proceedings of the case contending that until and unless the suspect is not arrested, he could not proceed further against other suspects.
He has prayed the IHC to conduct the trial against the suspects and conclude the matter within a parameter of time.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2016.
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