Peshawar: Arrest warrants for 10 TNSM activists issued
PESHAWAR: An anti–terrorism court on Monday issued arrest warrants for 10 activists of the Tanzim Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) for not complying with the court orders to appear in terrorism cases, including attacks on police stations in Swat, along with TNSM chief Maulana Sufi Mohammad.
Sources close to the trial in the Peshawar Central Prison told The News that Anti-Terrorism Court Judge Asim Imam issued the arrest warrants and directed officials of the Khwazakhel and Matta police stations in Swat to ensure their presence on October 10, the next date fixed for hearing the cases.
The sources said in previous hearing the judge had directed 25 TNSM activists charged in terrorism cases to appear in the court. They said 15 TNSM activists appeared, while the remaining 10 failed to attend the court.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, after an agreement with the Swat Taliban and TNSM chief Sufi Mohammad in 2008 had freed all the 25 accused activists on bail. After violation of the agreement and military operation against the Swat Taliban, the provincial government restored all the cases registered in 1994 and 1995 against the TNSM chief and activists.
The anti-terrorism court had summoned all the 25 activists in cases about attacks on Khwazakhela and Matta police stations and attack on security forces in the limits of Kabal Police Station.
Trial of Maulana Sufi Mohammad and his 68 activists in different cases of terrorism are being conducted inside the Peshawar Central Prison for security reasons.
One of the cases registered at the Mingora Police Station pertained to the killing of PPP MPA Badiuzzaman at a hotel in Swat by the TNSM activists.
The public prosecutor said officials of the concerned police stations, investigation officers and other witnesses would be produced in cases against Sufi Mohammad and others. In the past, the imprisoned TNSM chief publicly stated that the courts presided over by judicial officers were un-Islamic. He launched a movement under the banner of TNSM in June 1989 to replace these courts with the Shariah courts in the Malakand division, which comprises seven districts including Swat. In this attempt, thousands of his followers had resorted to violence in 1994.
They occupied several government installations and allegedly murdered the then MPA Badiuzzaman in early November 1994, besides reportedly killing several other opponents.
On July 26 last year, the police arrested Sufi Muhammad from a house in Sethi Town, Peshawar, along with his two sons under Section 16 Maintenance of Public Order.
Interestingly, Sufi Mohammad mostly remained imprisoned during the last decade, but the successive governments did not conduct his trial in these cases and in one case he was even shown as a proclaimed offender.
He was first arrested in Kurram Agency in December 2001 on his return to Pakistan from Afghanistan where he had taken around 10,000 of his supporters to fight alongside the Taliban against the US forces.