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Militants threat witnesses, police, judges to be silent in Pakistan
22:07, June 29, 2010
Militants groups in Pakistan are being proven so strong that they manage the acquittal of their colleagues from cases and proceedings against them in courts by threatening the families of judges, witnesses and police officers, local media reported on Tuesday.
According to reports, hundreds of militants have been successfully released from jails due to non-availability of witnesses and proofs enough to sentence them according to law.
Recently Pakistan’s Lahore High Court took a strict notice about the acquittal of a criminal from a lower court who was arrested red-handed with a grenade during a terrorism attack on a police training academy in March 2009.
In another case family of anti-terrorism judge Mohammad Asim Imam performing duty in Pakistan’s northwestern Malakand Division, received threats from the armed Taliban, who visited their residence few days back.
The judge is currently dealing with terrorism cases of Sufi Mohammad, Pakistani Taliban’s spiritually whip, arrested last year during the military operation in the area.
Taliban visited their place, left a message for the family and the judge to fall in line or be ready for the consequences. They also ordered the family cook to tell the judge that they were after him and would soon sort him out.
This is the first time since the completion of the military operation in Swat last year that a judge dealing with the anti- terrorism cases has received threats from the Taliban.
The family of anti-terrorism judge Imam lives in Peshawar, capital of the northwestern province Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, where his wife works as senior research officer at the provincial assembly secretariat.
Immediately after the incident, the government has provided security to the family but they are still worried about the safety as they are living in the danger zone.
“This is a common practice in Pakistan, not only Taliban even small criminal groups use these tricks to get their friends free from the courts, when there is no proof or witness, the court will have to free them,” said Khalid Mahmood, a former police office in Punjab Province.
“Now in some cases, judges’ names are kept secret and they hear the case proceeding in jail with covered faces to avoid any recognition by the accused,” Khalid told Xinhua.