KARACHI: The Karachi police have recommended the names of around 75 suspects, including Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, to be placed on the Fourth Schedule list for their alleged anti-state, sectarian and terrorism activities, it emerged on Wednesday.
The Fourth Schedule is a list of 'proscribed' persons, suspected of terrorism and/or sectarianism, under Section 11EE of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997. Usually, the name of a suspect is placed in the Fourth Schedule list for three years - it can also be extended if needed after completion of three years. It is mandatory for people whose names are on the list to register themselves with the local police regularly. They are also bound to submit an affidavit to the police to seek permission for leaving the city.
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Besides the mayor, the 75 suspects whose names have been recommended for inclusion in the Fourth Schedule include militants of banned outfits such as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and sectarian outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).
At district level
"All districts' police in Karachi have recommended the names for Fourth Schedule within their jurisdictions," explained District Malir SSP Javed Akbar Riaz while talking to The Express Tribune. "Some 16 names, including Wasim Akhtar, were recommended by my district police." He added that the suspects whose names have been recommended for the Fourth Schedule belong to different political, religious and banned outfits.
Responding to the news, the mayor lamented that some 40 'fake' FIRs are registered against him. "Now someone is again trying to hatch a conspiracy against me and Karachi by [putting] my name on the Fourth Schedule after I have been released in all these fake cases by courts due to lack of evidences," he told The Express Tribune.
Akhtar said that he would have no objection if his name is put on the Fourth Schedule. "What should I have done in such circumstances?" he asked. "I will definitely go to the police station on a daily basis to register my attendance if my name is placed on the Fourth Schedule. But those whose names should actually be on the Fourth Schedule list are enjoying freedom and having meetings with the government officials."
The move to include the mayor's name in the Fourth Schedule went through the Airport SHO, DSP and SSP, who then recommended the inclusion of the name to East DIG Arif Hanif. The DIG then forwarded the recommendations to the home department following a departmental process. "Besides other cases, the Karachi mayor is facing seven cases of terrorism," explained SSP Riaz. "It is a routine matter to recommend names of suspect [to be included] in the Fourth Schedule list." Akhtar is also facing charges in the May 12 carnage cases, which are registered against him at the Airport police station.
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Unavailability of required documents
According to home secretary Shakeel Mangnejo, the delay in the inclusion of Akhtar's name in the Fourth Schedule is due to the unavailability of required documents such as FIRs. He told The Express Tribune that the home department issues notifications about the inclusion of names after getting proper documentation done. "In most of the cases, including Wasim Akhtar's, the police did not submit proper documentations," said Mangnejo. "They will be notified soon after their proper documents with proper reasons will be completed."
He further explained that it is not necessary to put the name of each suspect who is being tried at an ATC on the Fourth Schedule. "We put names in the Fourth Schedule after verifying each and every thing," he said. "The suspect even has a right to challenge or file an application against inclusion of his name in the list."
Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2017.