Two-member bench formed for hearing case of 12-May carnage

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Chief Justice Sindh High Court, Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh, on the directives of Supreme Court formed a two-member bench for rehearing the 13 May carnage case here on Wednesday.

The bench will be comprised of Justice Iqbal Kolhoro and Justice KK Agha.The applicant has made former president Pervez Musharraf, founder of Pakistan Altaf Hussain and former Sindh advisor interior and mayor Karachi Wasim Akhter.

Last month the case was forwarded to Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar for the formation of the larger bench.

The Supreme Court’s appointed large bench will review the matter. The SHC which forwarded the case also appointed Faisal Siddiqui and Shahab Sirki as judicial assistant.

Applicant Iqbal Kazmi had requested the court to completely investigate the May 12 incident of terror.

In the plea, former president Pervez Musharraf, MQM founders, former provincial adviser home ministry Waseem Akhtar were also named.

In May 2018, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had summoned the case file of May 12 carnage in Karachi which claimed the lives of over two dozen people and scores injured in the provincial metropolis in 2007.

Earlier, An Anti-terrorism Court in Karachi had indicted Waseem Akhter and others in May 12 Case.

A week earlier Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar, had asked for progress on the May 12 case lodged after roads of Karachi were bathed with blood to stop workers of different parties from receiving the then deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in 2007.

On the outset of proceedings the prosecution presented Challan, under which Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhter, who was advisor home Sindh in 2007, was alleged for the May 12 bloodbath. Waseem Akhter, who along 18 others is on bail in the case, was indicted. Mayor Karachi pleaded not guilty after which he the court set June 23 as next hearing date of the case.

The court directed the prosecution to produce its witnesses in the next hearing.

One accused Umair Siddiqui has been arrested while 16 of the accused have been declared as proclaimed offenders by the court.

While speaking to media Mr Akhter urged for reinvestigation of the case so that real face behind the carnage may be exposed. “We are not escaping we will face case.” Akhtar complained that 40 cases had been lodged against him after his nomination as a mayor, with as many as 20 first information reports filed against him in one day.

Around 50 people were killed and over 100 wounded in attacks on rallies by different political parties and the legal fraternity who had attempted to receive the then deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry at the Karachi airport ahead of a lawyers’ gathering.

Chaudhry was forced to fly back to Islamabad after nine hours of being restricted to the airport.

On May 12, last year the provincial assembly had passed a resolution to condemn the May-12 massacre. Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which is alleged for the mass killing on that day, also supported the resolution, claiming 18 of its workers were also killed.

Senior minister Nisar Khuhro presented the resolution which was unanimously passed. Speaking on the occasion Khuhro said that the assembly condemns the killing people who were peacefully on their way for receiving the deposed chief justice.

“We can’t ignore the killing of May 12 and when a dictator was ruling the country. The dictator wanted to force Chief Justice to resign but he failed to do so. The provincial government of the time had closed all ways leading to airport and it seemed to be undeclared imposition of section 144,” he said, adding he also along with other PPP leaders was going to airport.

On whose order were 50 people killed and why were police standing as a spectator? the PPP leader asked and responded that Today’s mayor of Karachi was provincial home minister who had disarmed police.

“The same evening Musharraf while addressing a gathering in Islamabad had said he showed his power in Karachi,” he said. Khuhro said that the chief justice was restored after sacrifices of people didn’t take notice of the mayhem and they killers and perpetrators remained at large.

“The series of indiscriminate fire started from Patel Para [area of Karachi],” he said while speaking about an MQM rally that was underway in the area on May 12, 2007.

“It was an unfortunate day,” the MQM-Pakistan leader said. “The peace and politics of the city all were affected on that day, but the party which suffered the most was the one which is the major stakeholder in the city’s politics – MQM.”

Sabzwari maintained that not only for those killed in the May 12 carnage, justice should also be provided for those who lost their lives when the city came under attack on the day PPP leader Benazir Bhutto was martyred.

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