Alleged international drug trafficker Mushtaq Malik alias Black Prince has submitted his statement to a court through his counsel in Lahore to retract his previous statement in which he had alleged that Asif Ali Zardari was involved in narcotic trade.
Black Prince is currently imprisoned at the central jail on judicial custody in a case (9/2001) registered by the local chapter of the Anti-Narcotic Force under sections 9C and 15 of the Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 1997.
The ANF had allegedly recovered 5.5 tons of hashish from the possession of Black Prince and his aides Mian Idrees, Muhammad Ahmad Radowala, Pervez Malik, Ahsan Sultan, Noor Islam and Abdul Rauf in November 2001.
He was presented by the ANF as a prosecution witness on June 14, 2002, in a case “State vs Arif Baloch” being tried at the Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail against Mr Zardari. He was presented as a PW on the basis of a statement he had allegedly recorded in 1997 during sentence in a US prison.
But, later he retracted his statement claiming that he was forced to depose against Mr Zardari by some officials of the Ehtesab Bureau of Senator Saifur Rahman. He said the officials had threatened him that his family in Pakistan would be implicated in narcotic cases if he did not cooperate.
After returning home in June 2001, he was arrested by the ANF’s local chapter. In May last, he submitted a hand written statement to the special court in Multan and requested the presiding judge to send it to court hearing the case against Asif Zardari in Lahore.
He had pleaded that he had no other way except to request the special court to send his statement to the relevant court because he had not been summoned for cross-examination of his statement since his examination-in-chief on June 14, 2002.
The special court, however, dismissed his plea and directed him to submit his statement to the relevant court through his counsel according to law. Advocate Habibullah Shakir submitted the statement of Black Prince to the additional district and sessions judge Mian Khadim Husain on Wednesday last in Lahore.
The court has sought reply from the state on July 17 against the allegations levelled by him in his application submitted for cancellation of his statement he recorded under duress.
In his application, Black Prince has alleged that he was unlawfully taken to Lahore and confined to the ANF Garden Town station where he was tortured and intimidated to own his statement.