Govt to challenge acquittal, seeks greater punishment to accused in Wali Babar case
ISLAMABAD: The government will petition a superior court against the acquittal of an accused and the award of life imprisonment to four accused instead of the death penalty by an anti-terrorism court of Sindh in the murder case of Geo News reporter Wali Khan Babar.
The Sindh administration would be asked by the federal government to redouble its efforts for an early arrest of absconding convicts who have been handed death penalty.
It is the first murder case in the country whose venue was shifted from Karachi to a remote town in the interior Sindh benefiting from the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO) promulgated last year. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s assertions cannot be undervalued who had pledged in public meetings at least a dozen times that the government would not let Wali Khan Babar’s killers go scot-free.
Sources told The News Saturday evening that the federal government kept monitoring developments in the case and stayed in touch with the Sindh administration throughout on the direct instructions of Prime Minister Nawaz.
He was among the first national leaders who condemned the killing of Wali Khan Babar in strongest terms. Babar was gunned down in Karachi on January 13, 2011.
Wali Babar murder case was one of the causes that forced the federal government to legislate the PPO as the case had turned highly sensitive when six people linked with the prosecution including a witness and a lawyer had already been killed one after another, the sources reminded.
The prosecution will study the verdict once the detailed judgment is announced and an appeal would be submitted in the light of that in the higher court for enhancement of punishment and revision of acquittal of one of the accused, the sources said.