KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) summoned the driver of slain Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Zahra Shahid Hussain again on Saturday to record his testimony as an eyewitness.
Hussain, a top leader of PTI’s Sindh chapter, was shot dead outside her residence in Defence Housing Authority on May 18, 2013, hours before the re-polls in the NA-250 constituency where her party was having a strong contest with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
The ATC-VII judge issued notices to the driver again after he failed to appear despite having been summoned earlier. The judge remarked that if he did not make it to the court on next hearing, non-bailable warrants of arrest will be issued for him.
The driver is said to have witnessed the entire killing incident as he was at the scene when some assailants disembarked their motorcycles and shot Hussain while she was sitting in her car outside her house.
The killing sparked unrest in the political circles as PTI chief Imran Khan accused MQM chief Altaf Hussain of manipulating the murder. The suspects charged with the murder are also workers of the MQM.
Four suspects, identified as Zahid Abbas Zaidi, Rashid alias Tailor, Kaleemullah and Ifran alias Lamba, were indicted in June last year after the police submitted a charge-sheet against them citing evidences such as the weapon used in the commission of the offence.
The charge-sheet reads that the arrested suspects, in collusion of their absconding accomplices, Junaid Bukhari, Tariq Nawaz and Asif alias Ganja, plotted and executed the killing. They are alleged to have hid their weapons in an MQM unit office after the killing.
Around 20 people, including the one summoned and some policemen, have been named as witnesses in the charge-sheet.
The court has examined a number of them since the indictment.
The case is registered at the Gizri police station under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2016.