KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court has granted bail to three suspects – associated with outlawed organization – in the Karachi airport attack case. Sarmad Siddiqui, Asif Zaheer and Nadeem alias Burger were arrested by Sindh police for allegedly providing logistical and financial support to 10 attackers, who had stormed Jinnah International Airport, Karachi in June 2014. The court granted them bail against a surety of Rs1 million each because of ‘botched up’ investigation into the case. It said it they were not required in another case should be set free. Around 19 cases were registered against 10 unidentified militants at airport police station under the Explosive Substance Act and the Sindh Arms Act, 2013. The head of the proscribed Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Mullah Fazlullah, and the then spokesman Shahidullah Shahid were also named in the main case The main case (87/14) was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder), 353 (criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 427 (mischief casing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage, etc), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc), 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code and 4/5 of the Explosive Substances Act read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. Erstwhile NBP president’s bail plea: The Sindh High Court extended the bail granted to the former president of the National Bank of Pakistan till August 08th in Rs18 billion corruption case. A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh adjourned the hearing arguments of the NAB prosecutor on the bail plea. The court had granted bail to Ali Raza upon submission of surety bonds to the tune of Rs 500,000. The former NBP president had approached the high court fearing his arrest by the National Accountability Bureau in connection with an inquiry regarding corruption in the NBP in Bangladesh. The petitioner’s lawyer submitted that the inquiry was related to two bank employees, Zubair Ahmed and SM Jahanzeb, who were involved in illegal activities overseas, which caused losses worth Rs 17 billion to the national exchequer. Raza denied his involvement in the scam, saying that being the president of the bank he was reliant on the group chiefs, who were suppose to check any irregularity on part of the 16,000 employees of the bank. He told the judges that on August 21, 2015, a NAB investigation officer had issued him a notice to personally appear in connection with the investigation despite the fact he had left the organisation on January 14, 2011. Baldia factory inferno case: Another bench adjourned the hearing of bail petition of Zubair alias Charya, one of key the suspects in the Baldia factory inferno case, for two weeks. The bench expressed displeasure over the absence of public prosecutor and directed him to be present on next hearing. Zubair has approached the high court though his counsel after an anti-terrorism court had dismissed his bail plea. Baldia factory fire was one of the worst incidents in Pakistan’s history. Ali Enterprises caught fire on September 11, 2012, which claimed the lives of 259 workers. Though it was initially declared an accident, however, the Baldia factory inferno case took a dramatic turn in February 2015 when a report by Rangers claimed that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement was behind the deadly fire. A probe carried into the incident revealed that former MQM Karachi Tanzeemi Committee chief Hammad Siddiqui, his front man and then Baldia Town sector in-charge Bhola, Zubair Charya and three unidentified persons were behind the plot of setting the factory on fire. Published in Daily Times, August 1st , 2017.