Â If you were accused of being a terrorist in Punjab over the past two decades, there was about a 75 per cent chance that you would be acquitted. Three out of every four terrorism suspects arrested in the province over the last two decades were set free by the courts, according to data compiled by the Punjab government in favor of the Wahabi-Nasabi terrorists.
According to the data obtained revealed the Shiite News that The Saudi-backed Punjab Government of Sharif brothers become the heaven of terrorists as the Mian Nawaz Sharif and Chief
Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif set free hundreds of terrorists from the court by providing the insufficient evidences against them.
Since 1990, there have been 800 incidents of terrorism in Punjab, of which 475 have actually been prosecuted. A total of 2,300 suspects were named in those cases, and about 2,200 arrested. Of those arrested, about 1,650 â€” or 75% â€” were acquitted by the courts due to a lack of evidence against them including the ring leaders of outlawed terrorists organizations of Laskhar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Tehreek-e-Taliban, Harkat-ul-Mujahadeen and others banned outfits.
Public prosecutors, however, claim that the conviction rate was even lower than those numbers suggest. Chaudhry Muhammad Jahangir, Punjabâ€™s chief public prosecutor, said that â€œterrorismâ€ cases often included simpler crimes like abduction for ransom, etc, that were classified as terrorism because they were mentioned in the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997. Jahangir said that conviction rates on actual cases of terrorism were even lower.
Jahangir identified three major problems with the prosecution of terrorism cases that led to so many acquittals: lack of witness protection, defective investigations, and lack of forensic and other technology that would aid the investigation process.
Ali Amir Malik, the deputy inspector general of police for investigations, agrees, though he identifies the withdrawal of testimonies by witnesses â€“ who are often threatened and intimidated by terrorist groups â€“ as the primary cause for the low conviction rate.
Sources confined the Shiite News that the families of the victims of sectarian terrorism were received threats from the terrorists of outlawed Wahabi-Nasabi organizations and majority of the witnesses had avoided to identify the terrorists or to follow the cases.
For one thing, the government is not able to enforce even the provisions of the anti-terrorism laws that would aid it in the prevention of terrorism. The fourth schedule of the Anti Terrorism Act, for instance, allows the government to place almost draconian controls on the movement of terrorism suspects. Yet Malik Ishaq, ring leader of notorious Wahabi-Nasabi terrorists organization Laskhar-e-Jhangvi, a man convicted of killing over 70 people and placed on the fourth schedule of the act, was not only able to violate his curfew, but also to do so brazenly by openly touring in a large caravan across southern Punjab.
Both government officials as well as legislators have spoken of the need to amend the act. There now seems to be almost universal consensus on the need for witness protection, for instance, which is currently not accommodated at all in the law.