Dr Akmal Waheed – who was acquitted in 2006 on charges of providing medical treatment to militants – has been remanded in police custody for two days after his return to Pakistan.
Dr Waheed is in the custody of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal police and will be presented before Anti-Terrorism Court-I (ATC-I) on Monday. His nephew told The Express Tribune that as far as they knew, they only had to present two men for Dr Waheed’s bail.
Dr Waheed, whose brothers have also been implicated in terrorism cases and are currently missing, was acquitted by the Supreme Court of the charges. At the time, it is believed that he had agreed to inform the police of his whereabouts.
He was then reported to have left Pakistan and moved to the United Arab Emirates.
According to his former lawyer Shaukat Hayat, “At the time a petition was filed in the high court alleging that he had gone missing. Notices were issued to the interior ministry, the foreign ministry and the UAE Embassy for information. Subsequently it was learnt that Dr Waheed was facing trial in the UAE.”
The accused was then tried there and served a jail term. According to media reports, Dr Waheed was arrested in April 2010 in the UAE along with Dr Ayaz, also accused of providing treatment to militants.
The doctors were serving at a hospital in the Ras-al-Khaimah emirate.
According to Dr Waheed’s family, he returned to Karachi on a 2 am flight on August 8. He was taken into police custody on arrival and initially presented in ATC-I on Friday. Dr Waheed’s detention is reportedly because he violated the undertaking with the police that he had to report his whereabouts and did not inform them before he left for the UAE. The police reportedly filed an FIR against Dr Waheed after he left.
However, Hayat – who was not aware of what the undertaking may have comprised – said that because Dr Waheed was a government employee, he must have resigned from his post officially before he left the country.
Dr Waheed used to work at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in Karachi. The lawyer said he has not been contacted as yet in connection with the case.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2012.