LONDON: The Islamabad High Court on Thursday set aside anti-terrorism court (ATC)’s directives to remove terrorism charges in British national Barrister Fahad Malik murder case and transfer it to a district and sessions court.
Accepting the writ petition by the victim Fahad Malik’s younger brother Jawad Malik, who has been running a campaign to get justice for his brother, a two-member bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the arguments and set aside the ATC judgment and restored Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act in the murder case and transferred it back to an ATC.
Jawad Malik, the nephew of former Senate Chairman and caretaker prime minister Miah Muhammad Soomro, had filed the petition through his counsels Khawaja Haris, Akram Qureshi, Khawaja Naveed, Zain Qureshi and late Asma Jahangir.
The petition had challenged the ATC decision to drop terrorism clauses and transfer the case to a lower court.
The accused had approached the court in December 2016 requesting that the anti-terrorism clauses be removed. The ATC-I Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi had accepted the plea from the suspects in the murder case and sent the case to the sessions court for further trial.
Barrister Fahad Malik was killed on August 15, 2016, in Islamabad while he was at the Shalimar police station on behalf of his client. The police had arrested and booked Arshad Mehmood, Hashim Khan, and Noman Khokhar.
Speaking after the decision, Jawad Malik said that it took him 18 months to get justice to cross the first hurdle. “I am glad that the IHC judges have accepted my petition and restored anti-terrorism clauses and sent my brother’s murder case back to the anti-terrorism court. Allah has been kind and we are thankful that our case was heard on the merit. I thank all those people who supported our campaign. My brother was an innocent man and was killed in cold blood for no fault of his. There is still a long way to go but we are happy that justice has been done at this basic and crucial stage.”
Jawad Malik, a successful businessman who has businesses with a vast portfolio, ran a long campaign to get justice for his brother and held meetings with several parliamentarians in Britain. Former British Home Secretary Amber Rudd had written to Pakistani authorities to look into this case.
The matter was also discussed in a meeting of Home Affairs Select Committee here. The committee members had discussed that Jawad Malik and his brother ran successful businesses in London and could have chosen to stay in London but decided to live and work in Pakistan out of love for their country but the mafia killed one of them, bringing bad name to Pakistan.
Labour MP Naz Shah, Sayeeda Warsi, and several other parliamentarians also voiced concern and anguish at the killing of Fahad Malik and requested Pakistani authorities to take action against the accused. Naz Shah had said that Fahad Malik’s murder was an act of terrorism.
Jawad Malik said that he was thankful to British parliamentarians who stood by him and raised voice for his brother.-Web Desk