LAHORE - An Anti Terrorism Court yesterday granted seven-day physical remand of a pilot for allegedly being drunk while operating plane of a private airline.

Asmat Mahmood, the accused pilot, was produced before the court in tight security. The investigators requested the court to grant 13-day physical remand of the pilot so that they could investigate the charges of terrorism against him.

Hassan Warraich, counsel of the pilot, opposed the remand’s request and pleaded the court that his client did not commit any terrorism but he was booked under ATA. He told the judge that the company’s chairman had declared his client ‘hero’ for saving the lives of the passengers by a successful crash-landing.

The petitioner’s counsel pointed out that some technical problem occurred and his client was not responsible for any technical problem; it was the responsibility of the engineering team. The accused had nothing to with the allegations leveled against him and he did crash-land to save lives due to technical faults. He was being implicated just to save influential persons, he pleaded. He requested the court to delete section 7 of ATA from the FIR and refer the case to a court of ordinary law.

Advocate Usman Arif, the counsel of Civil Aviation Authority, contended that the interim medical examination of flight crew members of the plane conducted just after the accident revealed that the pilot was drunk.

He said the accident jeopardized the lives of passengers on board and might have caused grave potential repercussions. The CAA’s counsel further told the court the investigators were also checking the possibility of pilots’ connection with any terrorist organization.