722 suspects rejoined terror groups after acquittal in Pakistan

Oct 19 2013, 13:57 IST
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A recent report states that a majority of the 2,000 suspected terrorists freed by Pak courts since 2007 have either joined terror groups or are involved in anti-state activities. (AP) A recent report states that a majority of the 2,000 suspected terrorists freed by Pak courts since 2007 have either joined terror groups or are involved in anti-state activities. (AP)
SummaryWeak prosecution and evidence led to acquittal of many suspects involved in terrorist activities.

A majority of the nearly 2,000 suspected terrorists freed by Pakistani courts since 2007 have either joined terror groups or are involved in anti-state activities, a media report said on Saturday.

Of the 1,964 suspected terrorists released by the courts, 722 have rejoined terrorist groups while 1,197 are actively involved in anti-state activities, the Dawn reported.

At least 12 of such acquitted terrorists have been killed - four of them in US drone attacks in the restive tribal areas and eight during the operations conducted by security forces, the paper reported quoting an official document.

Though the wording of the document is vague, it appears to suggest that those being monitored are still involved in militant activities, the report said.

Thirty-three of those acquitted have been re-apprehended and are currently confined to jails and internment centres under the 'Action in Aid in Civil Power Regulations 2011', it said.

Defence analyst Air-Vice Marshall (retired) Shahzad Chaudhry said intelligence agencies do keep a check on the suspects who were release in some high-profile cases.

They are monitored to make sure that after acquittal the suspects would not be involved in terrorist activities again.

Sometimes when the released suspect gets involved in an anti-state activity the agencies try to apprehend and detain him in an internment centre, he said.

Since there is no legal cover for the detention after acquittal, sometimes the suspect is classified as a missing person, the report said.

This is not the first document that has highlighted the trend showing those acquitted returning to the activities they were suspected of at the first place.

According to a security agency report submitted to the Federal Review Board (a judicial body formed by the Supreme Court to examine the detention cases of suspects), the men accused of plotting attacks on former president Pervez Musharraf, the Danish Embassy, Surgeon-General Mushtaq Baig and a military bus in Rawalpindi had re-joined the terrorist outfits after their acquittal.

It has repeatedly been reported that the weak prosecution and half-baked evidence led to the acquittal of hundreds of suspects, allegedly involved in terrorist activities.

If the suspects are detained over some suspicions, they are set free at the High Court level as most of the time intelligence agencies and police fail to produce credible evidence, the report said.

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