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IHC reserves judgement in Fahad Malik murder case

LONDON:  Islamabad High Court judges Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani on Thursday reserved judgement pertaining to terrorism clauses in Barrister Fahad Malik’s murder case.

The writ was filed by Jawad Sohrab, brother of slain Barrister Fahad Malik.

Barrister Fahad Malik was viciously murdered in cold blood while others were injured on Margalla Road in a densely populated area of Islamabad by accused Noman Khokhar, Raja Arshad and Hashim Khan, almost two years ago, while discharging his legal duties as a lawyer, to reach a compromise between two parties.

On December 21, 2016, ATC-I Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi accepted a plea from the accused for removing terrorism clauses from the FIR.

In February last year, while hearing an appeal against the order of the ATC judge, division bench IHC, comprising of Justice Noor-ul-Haq Qureshi and Justice Aamer Farooq, suspended the ATC order, noting that it “requires consideration due to infirmities”.

The counsel for Jawad Sohrab Malik includes Khwaja Harris, the late Asma Jahangir, Khwaja Naveed, Akram Qureshi and Zain Qureshi. Earlier Khawaja Harris had argued that it was ironic how the ATC judge had ignored many vital factors while reaching a seriously defective judgement.

In the last and final hearing of the case which occurred before Divisional Bench of IHC, Akram Qureshi Advocate read out the statements of all the eye-witnesses of the case who stated the plan and design of the accused and the element of terror and fear spread in the locality at the time of  occurrence of Barrister Fahad Malik’s murder.

Muhammad Akram Qureshi further stated before the Court that in pursuit of their pre-conceived plan to commit murder of Barrister Fahad Malik and terrorise people, the culprits kept on calling their henchmen to reach outside the police station to teach a lesson to Malik and send a message to the society, all the while faking a compromise between himself and the complainants.

Last month, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that Her Majesty’s government will raise the issue of British national Fahad Malik’s murder case with her counterpart, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal.

During the meeting of Home Affairs Select Committee in the British parliament, the home secretary answered questions asked by the committee members and said that during her conversation with the Pakistani counterpart, she often raises individual cases and there is need to work more closely.

Naz Shah MP, Labour parliamentarian from Bradford West, had told the home secretary that two British nationals Barrister Fahad Malik and Samia Shahid were both killed in Pakistan in 2016. However, the trial of these high-profile cases has yet to start.

The home secretary replied that she will raise the matter with the interior minister to ensure that justice is given to the British families.

Naz Shah told Home secretary that the murder trial of British-Pakistani Fahad Sohrab Malik has yet to start nearly two years after his gruesome murder in Islamabad, and same is the case with British national Samia Shahid.

Shah said that the home secretary has assured her that she will make Fahad Malik’s murder issue a test case and will ensure that his family among others get justice on a speedy basis. She said that the home secretary will be writing to Iqbal and the Supreme Court of Pakistan to draw attention towards the issue.

It’s a travesty of justice that the accused in Fahad Malik’s killing case have access to the internet in Adiala jail and celebrated birthdays, she lamented, adding that the whole point of someone being in jail is to make sure that justice is served but it’s shocking when the accused get VIP treatment in jails.

Notwithstanding the above, these hardened criminals appear to remain unaffected; while new FIRs continue to be lodged against them, even while they are behind bars.

As the late Asma Jahangir noted during her arguments in this case (which was also one of her last case), the accused are giving the society a clear message “do not mess with us; we are above the law”.

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