PESHAWAR - A special anti-terrorism court (ATC) Saturday dropped terrorism charges against TSNM chief Sufi Muhammad and transferred two sedition cases against him to a sessions court in Swat.

The hearing of Sufi’s applications seeking transfer of his cases from anti-terrorism courts was held at the Central Prison, Peshawar.

ATC Judge Abdur Rauf, accepting the applications, ordered transfer of two cases against Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) chief to a Swat court. These two cases had been registered against Sufi Muhammad for delivering anti-state speeches in Timergara, Lower Dir, and Grassy Ground, Swat, in 2009.

Of a total 13 cases, Sufi has already been acquitted in 10 cases while three are still pending with the courts. The court had earlier transferred the third case, related to the attack on a police station in Kabal, to a sessions court.

According to BBC Urdu, Sufi’s lawyer Adil Majid said that these two cases were registered against his client for holding public meetings wherein he allegedly delivered seditious remarks against the constitution and the superior judiciary of the country. He said as per law of the land, such remarks does not fall in the purview of terrorism.

INP adds: The terrorism charges against TNSM chief were ordered to be dropped for lack of evidence against him in these two sedition cases, which like the other cases were registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

Sufi Muhammad, who is the father-in-law of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah, was arrested in 2009 along with his two sons during the final phase of the military operation against militants in Malakand region. The trial of his different cases has been conducted amid tight security at the Peshawar Central Jail.