A Pakistani national, accused ofattacking a convoy of former president Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2003, has been acquitted by an anti-terrorism court due to lack of evidence. Rana Faqir Hussain was arrested on December 8, 2005, and was taken into custody along with his 13 family members, including a six-month-old baby.
He was accused of being part of a suicide bombing which took place on December 25, 2003, aimed at Musharraf at Jhanda Chichi. Twenty two people including four policemen were killed in the attack. He was also accused of parking his vehicle laden with explosives at a petrol pump in front of Civil Line police station.
Counsel of Hussain Col (retd.) Inam Al Rahim had asked the court for his client's acquittal as despite the passage of seven years the prosecution had failed to present any solid evidence against his client and neither any charges have been proven in the court.
ATC court, Rawalpindi, Judge Chaudhry Habibur Rehman acquitted Hussain of all charges and ordered his immediate release yesterday. In addition to the trial of civilians - Hussain, his daughter-in-law Shazia Mubashir and Jamshed Raza - in the ATC, a separate trial of 12 accused, mostly serving soldiers, was conducted by the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) which convicted all the accused in 2004.
They included Rana Mohammad Naveed, son of Hussain; Adnan Rashid, a former PAF junior technician and mastermind of the Dera Ismail Khan jailbreak; PAF chief technician Nawazish Ali, chief technician Khalid Mehmood, Naik Arshad, Niaz Mehmood, Zubair Ahmed, Rashid Qureshi and Ikhlas Ahmed and civilians Mushtaq Ahmed, Ghulam Sarwar Bhatti and Amir Sohail.
On July 21, 2005, a military court of appeal not only upheld the FGCM decision but increased the punishment of Rana Naveed and Amir Sohail from 20-year jail term to death sentence. But in March this year, the Supreme Court set aside the death sentence of Naveed and Sohail after their counsel said they had never filed an appeal against the sentence. The appeal was filed by the military authorities on their own on behalf of the convicts, the lawyer had said.