Bodies of 10 Karachi airport attackers to be exhumed for DNA tests

KARACHI: A medical team, under the supervision of a judicial officer, will exhume the bodies of 10 attackers of Karachi airport attack case on Nov 22 for identification.

The four-member medical team will collect samples for DNA tests to establish the identity of the killed assailants.

A judicial magistrate (Malir) had directed the health authorities to constitute a medical board since police moved court for the exhumation of the bodies for DNA testing.

Around 10 heavily armed militants stormed Karachi airport in June 2014 and were killed by army commandos and personnel of other security forces during an operation lasting about five hours. They were buried at an Edhi-run cemetery after their identity remained unknown.

A police surgeon in a compliance report placed before the judicial magistrate on Friday said that the medical board headed by Prof Farhat Hussain Mirza, chairman of the forensic medicine department of the Jinnah Sindh Medical University, had been constituted.

The medical board will exhume the bodies to obtain samples for DNA testing in the presence of a judicial magistrate on Nov 22 at the Edhi graveyard located in the Mochko police station limits, the report added.

Around 25 people, including personnel of the Airport Security Force, police and Rangers, were killed in the audacious gun-and-explosive attack. Three men are facing trial before an anti-terrorism court for allegedly providing logistic support, funds and weapons to the attackers.

The CTD claimed to have arrested Ishaq, alias Bobby, and Mohammad Asim, alias Ahmed alias Capri, belonging to the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, recently for their alleged involvement in many targeted killing cases, including the murder of renowned Qawwal Amjad Sabri and personnel of the army and police.

A CTD official also said that Bobby’s brother-in-law Ehtesham and his friend Majid, with eight other militants, were killed by law enforcement personnel during the deadly airport attack.

Meanwhile, the administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts remanded on Friday both the suspected militants in police custody in three more cases, including the murder of seven policemen guarding polio workers.

Police produced Ishaq Bobby and Asim Capri, who have already been in police custody in explosive and illicit weapon cases, before the court to seek their remand in more cases pertaining to the killing of seven policemen in Orangi Town in April this year, murder of two traffic policemen near Ayesha Manzil in May and a triple murder in Zaman Town last year.

The administrative judge handed them over to police on physical remand till Nov 22.

MPA gets bail in ‘anti-state’ CDs case

An anti-terrorism court granted on Friday bail to a provincial lawmaker of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in a case related to alleged distribution of CDs of ‘anti-state’ speeches.

MPA Shiraz Waheed was arrested in August for allegedly circulating CDs, which contained speeches and statements to wage war or attempt or abet to wage war against the country, among the people in Ahsanabad.

The MPA through his lawyer moved the bail application. After hearing arguments from both sides, the ATC-II judge granted bail to him against a surety bond of Rs1 million.

The case was registered under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan), 123-A (condemnation of the creation of the state and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty), 124-A (sedition) and 109 (abetment) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the SITE Superhighway Industrial Area police station. Around 15 suspects are shown absconders in the case.

MQM-London activists get bail

A judicial magistrate granted on Friday bail to seven activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London in a case registered for rioting.

Police arrested the suspects on Nov 16 near Jinnah Ground in Azizabad when they tried to engage in a scuffle with leaders and workers of the MQM-Pakistan when the latter attempted to visit Yadgar-i-Shuhada. They were sent to prison the following day.

The court granted them bail against a surety bond of Rs10,000 each.

Capt Safdar assails PM Office, bureaucrats

ISLAMABAD: Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar on Friday alleged that the prime minister’s personal secretary was calling the shots in matters relating to promotion of senior bureaucrats and called for an end to the practice.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in the National Assembly supported the MNA’s views and expressed lack of confidence in the Prime Minister Office. They said that issues like promotion of bureaucrats should be dealt with by parliament and not by an individual.

The MNAs termed the bureaucracy “an unbridled horse” and said it paid no heed to the complaints lodged by the parliamentarians regarding their constituencies.

In a call-attention notice, retired Capt Safdar criticised the PM Office and particularly the prime minister’s personal secretary, Fawad Hassan Fawad.

According to him, Mr Fawad is taking decisions about promotion of government officers of grade 20 and above on the basis of his own liking. “An individual is calling the shots and making promotions on the basis of his own desires,” he said.

Analysis: Promotion dilemma of bureaucracy

Mr Sharif’s son-in-law suggested that a parliamentary committee should be formed to deal with promotion of officers of grade 20 and above. He said the decisions should be taken on the basis of the officers’ performance and track record.

“The elected representatives can take better decisions about promotion of civil servants on the basis of their past performance because they serve in our constituencies as assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners,” he said.

All federal secretaries should attend sessions of the two houses of parliament so that they could learn about the people’s problems, he said. “For God’s sake, make this mandatory for them as they have to run the government.”

Recalling the services of former secretary Saeed Mehdi, the MNA said he could not find a serving officer who was as capable as Mr Mehdi. “I say Fawad Hassan Fawad should sit in this house so that he could learn about the problems of the people,” he said.

Capt Safdar was of the opinion that most elected representatives knew about the activities of the bureaucrats. “We know that most of the bureaucrats run their private offices in the evening and how they invest in the real estate sector,” he said.

He asked Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, who was conducting proceedings of the house in the absence of Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, to form a parliamentary committee to deal with promotion of senior civil servants.

Abbas Siyal endorsed Mr Safdar’s point of view and said the right of promoting officers “had been snatched” by the premier’s personal secretary, who was making the decisions according to his own desires.

“We frequently visit offices of the officials concerned in search of solution of people’s problems but they ignore us and even do not attend our telephone calls,” he added.

Some other MNAs, including Ayaz Soomro and Naveed Qamar of the Pakistan Peoples Party, supported Mr Safdar’s views and called for amendments to the relevant law.

Deputy Speaker Abbasi said the procedure for promotion of top officials had already been laid down and the decisions regarding promotion of officers of grade 20 and above fell in the domain of the prime minister. “As far as I know, the parliamentarians have been included in the promotion broad,” he said.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed agreed that legislators faced numerous problems in their efforts to solve the people’s problems, but suggested that lawmakers were responsible for the existing state of affairs as well.

“These bureaucrats work under relevant federal ministers who are part and parcel of parliament,” he said.

Mr Ahmed, however, said a committee comprising legislators could be formed for deciding on promotion of top officials.

He said he had already written to all the federal secretaries about the need for them to attend parliamentary sessions.

Marriyum asks Imran to change his ulterior motive not lawyer

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb on Friday advised PTI Chairman Imran Khan to change his ulterior motive rather than changing his legal counsel in Panama Papers case.

In a statement, the minister said the nation was watching who was lying.

She said that the nation’s journey towards progress and prosperity under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could not be stopped.