Pakistan's Supreme Court has dismissed the government's appeal to freeze the accounts of a Senator from Balochistan due to his alleged links with the banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA).
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Thursday observed that Senator Shahid Hassan Bugti of the Jamhoori Watan Party had not been convicted by any Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) nor was there any convincing evidence that he belonged to the BLA.
Deputy Attorney General Nahida Mehboob Ellahi told the court that the BLA was declared a terrorist organisation in 2005 and the government had directed the banks to freeze the accounts of all members of the organisation.
On the request of the interior ministry, the finance ministry asked the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to freeze all bank accounts of the Senator, whose name was also included in the government notification, Dawn reported.
Senator Bugti came to know of the development when two cheques of Rs 100,000 and Rs 20,000 issued by him on separate occasions were dishonoured.
Bugti moved the Balochistan High Court which declared that the freezing of his bank accounts was not justified as he was neither issued a show-cause notice nor afforded a hearing before the action was taken.