Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)’s mayor nominee Wasim Akhtar was remanded on Tuesday by the anti-terrorism courts’ administrative judge in 10 cases.
In the terrorists’ facilitation case against Dr. Asim Hussain, Akhtar with other political leaders has been imprisoned in the North Nazimabad police. Following his five-day physical remand in two cases relating to listening to his party chief’s controversial speeches, the MQM leader was brought before the judge. However, the investigating officer (IO) told the judge that Akhtar was involved in eight more cases, seven of which have to deal with the May 12, 2007, carnage and another related to the MQM chief’s speech. The IO mentioned that the intending mayor was arrested with Aslam alias Kala in seven cases of riots brought before the Airport police.
The eighth case was presented at the Brigade police station following a controversial speech given by the MQM chief targeting the military establishment.
Based on the prosecution, Akhtar was a home minister the same time that the riots erupted across the city on May 12, 2007. It is believed that he permitted the law and order situation to falter and ordered law enforcers to not take any action against the perpetrators of violence.
With regards to the case of the MQM chief’s speeches, Akhtar is described as a facilitator. The officer asked for an extension in the physical detention of the suspect to interrogate him in the eight new cases that have emerged. However, Khawaja Naveed, the defense counsel countered the extension and argued that his client was being politically victimized. In the end, while closing the hearing, the judge sentenced Akhtar and Aslam to jail for two weeks on judicial remand and permitted the IO to interrogate them there, if needed. Investigation reports regarding the cases have been requested by the judge by August 9th.
In the same vein, Akhtar’s lawyer moved the bail applications in three cases which were moved to ATC-I. Dealing with better jail facilities for the MQM leader, an application was referred to the ATC-II.
In the latest development, Akhtar has been jailed for a total of 11 cases while he has gained bail in more than 25 other cases.