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ATC confirms Dr Mirza’s pre-arrest bail, allows his travel abroad

ATC confirms Dr Mirza’s pre-arrest bail, allows his travel abroad

KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Wednesday confirmed the interim pre-arrest bail of former home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza and his 18 associates in a case pertaining to the alleged creation of a terror-like situation at a police station. The court also ruled that it had no objection to Dr Mirza’s travel abroad.

On a previous hearing, the court had granted him and the other suspects interim bail.

After hearing arguments from both sides on Wednesday, ATC-III Judge Saleem Raza Baloch confirmed their interim bail and also disposed of an application of Dr Mirza seeking permission to travel abroad. The judge observed that since the charge-sheet of the case had not been filed, there was no restriction on the applicant’s travel abroad.

The former minister had submitted in court that he along with his spouse, former National Assembly speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, had to proceed to the United States on the advice of renowned surgeon Dr Adibul Hasan Rizvi for her medical treatment.

The sessions courts in Karachi and Badin and another ATC holding trial of Dr Mirza in nine cases have already allowed him to travel abroad for three weeks.

Dr Mirza, the disowned PPP leader, along with his associates, has been booked in 10 cases in Karachi and Badin over the past month for allegedly creating a terror-like situation, threatening policemen and obstructing them from performing their duties.

Meanwhile, another antiterrorism court on Wednesday extended the pre-arrest bail of Dr Mirza and his associates in four cases.

The cases were fixed before the ATC-I for arguments on pre-arrest bail confirmation or otherwise as well as for other applications moved by ex-minister seeking transfer of the cases to a regular court. However, the judge of trial court was on leave and the judge in charge simply extended the interim pre-arrest bail till July 4.

Dr Mirza and his associates were booked in the four cases for allegedly storming a police station in Badin, abusing police officials, enforcing a shutdown in the district, attempting to kill two shopkeepers, rioting, blocking a road and damaging property on May 3.

The former minister did not appear in the ATC on Wednesday but filed applications for condoning his personal appearance on medical grounds.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2015

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