Islamabad: In an order, that could seriously undermine Pakistan's attempts to combat terrorism, the High court here today directed the authorities to release nine alleged terrorists. The terrorists had been detained as they were suspected to have played a role in the suicide attacks on the Danish embassy and army's Surgeon General.
The Islamabad High Court rejected the Interior Ministry's contention that the nine men were involved in the suicide attack that killed Pakistani Army Surgeon General Lt Gen Mushtaq Baig in February 2008 and the suicide car bombing of the Danish embassy four months later.
Setting aside the detention orders of the alleged terrorists, the single judge bench of Chief Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman ordered their release.
Earlier, officials of security and intelligence agencies presented the records of the alleged terrorists in the Chief Justice's chamber. After this briefing, the court accepted the petitions moved by the accused.
At an earlier hearing, Deputy Attorney General Tariq Jahangiri told the judge that the accused had been acquitted by the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court.
The federal government had challenged their acquittal in the Supreme Court and the matter was pending in the apex court, Jahangiri said.
He added that intelligence agencies had solid evidence against the accused and asked the High Court to allow officials to present the relevant records.
Pakistan Army Surgeon General Lt Gen Mushtaq Baig and seven others were killed and nearly 30 people injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the officer's vehicle in Rawalpindi on February 25, 2008.
On June 2 the same year, eight persons were killed and 24 injured when a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car outside the Danish embassy, located a short distance from the Indian High Commissioner's residence in Islamabad.