Qari Saifullah's counsel to sue Benazir's book publisher, beneficiaries -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Qari Saifullah’s counsel to sue Benazir’s book publisher, beneficiaries

The counsel of a Jihadi outfit leader, who is currently under arrest for allegedly masterminding the Karsaz suicide bombings at a PPP rally on October 18 last year, has said that he is going to sue the printer, publisher and beneficiaries of late PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto’s book for ‘falsely accusing’ his client of being involved in Karsaz bombings.

“My client Qari Saifullah Akhtar is facing great hardship due to the publication of his name in late PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto’s book,” Hashmat Habib told The News, adding, he was going to sue the printer, publisher and beneficiaries of the book for damaging the reputation of his client.

Benazir had mentioned Qari Saifullah’s name in her book, “Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West”, accusing him of being involved in suicide bombings to assassinate her at the PPP rally on October 18 in Karachi. She further alleged that he had also tried to overthrow her second government in connivance with army officials in the mid 90’s.

Qari Saifullah, who was once an Amir of Harkat Jihad Islami and fought along with Taliban against the Northern Alliance prior to US invasion of Afghanistan, has been remanded to police custody till March 27 by the Administrative Judge of Anti Terrorism Courts in Karachi for his alleged involvement in Karsaz suicide bombings case.

Hashmat, who also fought legal battle in superior courts for ascertaining the whereabouts of Qari Saifullah, said that Saifullah was falsely implicated by the police in the Karsaz blasts merely on the publication of his name in late Benazir Bhutto’s book.

He said that Saifullah was previously detained illegally by intelligence agencies in Pakistan for three years without any charge following his extradition from United Arab Emirates in August 2004 on the request of Pakistani government as it believed that he was also involved in masterminding twin suicide attacks on President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf in December 2003.

He alleged that intelligence agencies kept his client in a cell and later he was released in May 2007 after being detained for two years and nine months without any charge.

The counsel said that Qari did not come out of his house after his release due to his deteriorating health but he went to the Dargah (shrine) of his spiritual leader Shah Nafees Al Husaini for taking part in welfare activities.

He said that Qari Saifullah was arrested on February 26 at the shrine and booked in connection with a suicide blast case by the Gulberg police (Lahore) but was acquitted of the charges. However, soon after his acquittal, Karachi police obtained SaifullahÂ’s custody in the Karsaz blasts case, he added.

He alleged that the Karachi police did not mention the detention of Qari Saifullah in Lahore, and added that, had they mentioned this fact in the remand papers, the AJ would not have given him in police custody for such a long period.

Hashmat Habib contended that his client has nothing to do with Karsaz blasts case, saying that he was merely arrested due to the publication of his name in late PPP chairperson’s book.
Source: The News
Date:3/16/2008