Court directs removal of Lal Masjid caretaker’s name from fourth schedule

Zubair Qureshi

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) here Monday directed the government to remove the name of a Lal Masjid ‘Khadim’ or Caretaker from fourth schedule, besides restoring his bank account and computerized national identity card.
Fourth schedule is a section of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) under which someone who is suspected of terrorism is kept under observation. Further, it is mandatory for him to register his attendance with the local police regularly.
Lal Masjid Khadim Manzoor Hussain was placed at fourth schedule after Punjab Counter-terrorism Department (CTD) had submitted a report to the District Police Officer Attock.
Punjab CTD in its application had alleged that Manzoor Hussain had been holding meetings with the members of banned Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), formerly Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, at his residence in Attock. He was then placed on the list by the Punjab Home Department in February 2016.
However on Monday when the IHC bench inquired of the Punjab Home Department and the CTD and asked them to provide evidence of Manzoor Hussain’s involvement in suspicious activities, they could not provide any. After respondents failed to provide any evidence in support of their report, the IHC bench ordered them to remove Manzoor Hussain’s name from the fourth schedule.

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