KARACHI, Jan 1: An interned provincial lawmaker now belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has not only confessed to his involvement in the May 12, 2007 mayhem but also implicated party chief Dr Farooq Sattar in one of the most violent episodes of the country’s history, it emerged on Saturday.
Kamran Farooq, a member of the Sindh Assembly from Karachi, was arrested by the paramilitary Rangers on Dec 16 and was booked in two cases for allegedly carrying grenades and unlicensed weapons. He was one of the absconders in several cases pertaining to the May 12 violence.
He had recorded his confessional statement before a judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the criminal procedure code on Dec 20.
According to his statement, a copy of which is available with Dawn, suspect Farooq stated that he joined the MQM in 2000 and worked as the party’s “unit and sector in charge”. He added that he was given a party ticket to contest the 2013 general elections on the recommendation of the then chief of the Karachi Tanzeemi Committee, Hammad Siddiqui.
About his involvement in the May 12 events, he told the magistrate that a meeting was held on May 10, 2007 at the party’s Nine Zero headquarters in the presence of Dr Farooq Sattar, Mr Siddiqui and other leaders. He said that the “party leadership” had asked him and other “sector in charges” to ensure that lawyers could not reach Karachi airport to welcome the then deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on May 12, 2007.
He testified that he along with his armed accomplices blocked many thoroughfares on May 12 and resorted to firing leaving many wounded.
In April 2008, according to the statement, another meeting was held at the party’s headquarters in which he was told that Karachi Bar Association secretary Naeem Qureshi was planning to stage protests against the party as he was a complainant in one of the May 12 cases. He was asked to teach a ‘lesson’ to Mr Qureshi and he sent some workers to torch a building — Tahir Plaza — which housed the office of the KBA leader.
Tahir Plaza was set on fire on April 9, 2008 in which a lawyer and his five clients died.
He also told the magistrate about his involvement in targeted killing, extortion, providing arms licences to alleged hitmen during the tenure of Aftab Shaikh, the then adviser to the Sindh chief minister on home affairs, purchasing weapons, china-cutting and other offences.
Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, MPAs Mohammad Adnan, Kamran Farooq and others were booked in cases related to rioting and attempted murder during the May 12, 2007 mayhem, in which around 50 people were killed and over 100 wounded.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the MQM-Pakistan rejected the confessional statement of MPA Kamran Farooq who was in Rangers custody and said that such statements were part of the party’s media trial. The spokesman also slammed a plot to implicate Dr Sattar in false cases.
Another MPA gets interim bail in Baldia fire case
The administrative judge of the antiterrorism courts in Karachi on Saturday granted interim pre-arrest bail to MQM lawmaker Rauf Siddiqui in the Baldia factory fire case.
Applicant’s lawyer Shaukat Hayat submitted that a recently arrested suspect, Abdul Rahman, in his confessional statement named the applicant for allegedly lodging a case against the factory owners.
The counsel said that the applicant was neither nominated in the FIR nor named in the charge-sheets or any report of the joint investigation teams. The FIR against the factory owners was lodged by the SHO concerned on behalf of the state but the applicant was being framed in the present case.
However, since the detained suspect named the MPA in his confessional statement on the basis of hearsay, the applicant was ready to join the investigation and sought pre-arrest bail, the counsel added.
After a preliminary hearing, the judge in charge of the ATC-II granted him pre-arrest bail against a surety bond of Rs100,000 till Jan 12.
It may be recalled that Abdul Rehman alias Bhola, a key suspect in the factory fire case, confessed before a judicial magistrate on Dec 22 that he along with Zubair alias Charya and other accomplices set the factory on fire on the instruction of Hammad Siddiqui since the factory owners had refused to pay extortion.
He said that after the incident Rauf Siddiqui, then provincial minister for industries, allegedly got a case registered against the factory owners. According to the suspect, he came to know later that both Rauf Siddiqui and Hammad Siddiqui received Rs40 to Rs50 million from the owners in order to weaken the case against them.