Over 2,200 people are being strictly monitored round-the-clock under Schedule IV of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.
According to the law, the provincial government is authorised to include terrorism suspects, past terrorism convicts and those suspected of spreading sectarian violence or hatred. All these individuals will be kept under strict watch by the authorities.
“All those included in Schedule IV have to submit a surety bond and guarantee their best behaviour,” a police official told The Express Tribune. “Also, they must ensure they will not move out of the jurisdiction of their local police station without prior permission or notifying the relevant officials,” he added.
“If any one of these people is found involved in anti-state activities, the government has the right to confiscate their moveable and immovable properties as punishment,” he explained.
A past to remember
He said these individuals are not necessarily involved in terrorism at the moment, but could have been during some time in the past.
The policeman added if their connection to terrorism is proven, the suspects will be arrested by law-enforcement agencies. He added only suspects could be included in Schedule IV as per the law.
A past to forget
Introduced in 1997, the Anti-terrorism Act allows for calling in the armed forces in the event of terrorist activity and also enables awarding life-imprisonment terms and death sentences to those involved in such acts. Authorities can also impose fines on convicts under this act.
The law gives police the authority to raid any house without the permission of a first-class magistrate if law enforcers are convinced there is material of a prohibited nature in the building. It was also through this legislation that anti-terrorism courts were established.
The act was promulgated mainly to curb sectarianism in Punjab as terrorism activity was otherwise minimal in Pakistan during those times. In K-P, the most recent addition was the watch list of terrorism suspects.
“A man in Khazana was accused of collecting charity for militants. As a result, he was included in the schedule and has to provide four pictures to the police every two months and inform them if he is travelling out of the city,” said another official. He revealed some candidates who contested the recent local government elections in Peshawar district were also watched under Schedule IV.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2015.
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