52 MQM activists acquitted in Zero operation case

KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court in Karachi on Friday has acquitted 52 MQM activists of explosives charges after six years in what is known as the Nine Zero operation case.

The court acquitted high profile target killers Faisal Mota, Obaid K2, Nadir Shah, Amir Sarpatta and others of possession of explosives in the case.

However, Faisal Mota has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for illegal possession of arms while Farhan Shabbir has been sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for illegal possession of arms.

Senior MQM leader Amir Khan along with some 26 party activists were charged for possessing illegal weapons, ammunition and explosives dumped at their party’s headquarters in Azizabad.

Rangers had arrested them during a pre-dawn raid at Nine Zero on March 11, 2015 and subsequently police had registered 52 cases against them.

On last hearing the prosecutors representing the Rangers concluded their final arguments in the cases.

In their arguments spanning over several weeks, the prosecutors including Rana Khalid, Chaudhry Mehmood and others contended that the arms, ammunition and explosives recovered from the Khursheed Memorial Hall near Nine Zero were meant to be used for the purpose of causing terror.

They further contended that there was sufficient evidence to prove the allegations against the accused persons and pleaded to punish them accordingly.

After recording their final arguments, the judge reserved verdict on April 6, in cases to be pronounced on April 23.

The trial took six years to conclude. The judge conducted joint trial in the cases, which were identical and were subsequently amalgamated.