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Jinnah House attack: 16 suspects to be tried under army laws

LAHORE: As many as 16 suspects, allegedly involved in vandalising Lahore Corps Commander’s house (Jinnah House) on May 9, will be tried under army laws.

An anti-terrorism court on Thursday directed the superintendent of Camp Jail, Lahore, to hand over the custody of the accused to the commanding officer for further proceedings in accordance with the law.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan was arrested from the Islamabad High Court premises by Rangers on National Accountability Bureau warrant in the Al-Qadir Trust on May 9. The arrest triggered violent protests throughout the country by PTI workers and supporters of Imran Khan. Public and private property, including armed forces’ installations, were vandalised and even burned. This included attacks on General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and the Lahore Corps Commander’s house and it was then decided that those involved would be tried under army laws.

Thursday’s order was issued by ATC Judge Abher Gul Khan, who accepted the request of the army officer for the custody of the vandals confined in Camp Jail, Lahore.

The accused — including Amar Zohaib, Ali Iftikhar, Ali Raza, Muhammad Arsalan, Muhammad Umair, Muhammad Raheem, Ziaur Rehman, Waqas Ali, Raees Ahmad, Faisal Irshad, Muhammad Bilal Hussain, Faheem Haider, Arzam Junaid, former PTI MPA Mian Muhammad Akram Usman, Muhammad Hashir Khan and Hassan Shakir — have been named in two separate cases.

“In view of the request made by Irfan Athar, Commanding Officer/Military Officer, duly forwarded by the prosecution as the case of above mentioned accused is exclusively triable by a military court, therefore, while accepting the request of Commanding Officer u/s 549(3) Cr.P.C, read with Rule 7(f) of Criminal Procedure (Military Offenders) Rules 1970, Superintendent, Camp Jail, Lahore is directed to hand over the custody of above said accused to Commanding Officer for further proceedings in accordance with the law,” the order said.

“They are found guilty of offences Under Sections 3,7 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 read with Section 2(1)(d) and 59(4) of Pakistan Army Act, 1952, exclusively triable by Military Court, to the acceptance of which learned DPG did not raise any objection and forwarded the request for appropriate orders.”

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