KARACHI: A case was registered over the killing of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker Waqas Ali Shah on Thursday who died a day earlier in a raid carried out by Rangers personnel on MQM headquarters.
On Wednesday, a heavy contingent of Rangers raided Nine Zero, the headquarters of MQM, in Karachi's Azizabad neighbourhood prompting a protest by party activists and a subsequent call for a day of "peaceful mourning" across the country. A number of party workers, including MQM's Rabita Committee member Amir Khan, were detained during the raid.
MQM spokesperson Wasay Jalil had alleged that Shah, 25, was killed in straight fire by Rangers personnel during the raid.
However, Rangers Director General (DG) Major General Bilal Akbar said that the MQM activist did not die of gunfire by Rangers personnel.
Rangers spokesperson Colonel Tahir told Dawn that he was in the area during the operation and that “no one was killed”. He said it was not clear where Waqas Shah was killed.
Additional Inspector General (IG) Sindh Police Ghulam Qadir Thebo said the case was registered at Azizabad police station.
Later, funeral prayers were also offered for the deceased MQM worker.
|Funeral prayers being offered for MQM worker Waqas Ali Shah. — DawnNews screengrab|
Further investigation into the matter is underway.
Corps Commander Karachi visits Rangers HQ
Corps Commander Karachi Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar visited the Rangers headquarters in Karachi today and inspected the weapons seized by personnel of the paramilitary force during yesterday's raid on MQM headquarters Nine Zero.
|Corps Commander Karachi Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar accompanied by Director General Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar. — DawnNews screengrab|
During the visit, DG Rangers Bilal Akbar apprised the Corps Commander of criminal elements operating in Karachi as well as the crackdown on Nine Zero.
He told him that 27 persons arrested during the raid, who were wanted in incidents of target killings, would be detained for 90 days under the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO). However, the total numbers of arrests made during the crackdown were not disclosed during the briefing.
Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar said the operation against 'criminal elements' should be continued, adding that there should be no exception in this regard.
|Corps Commander Karachi Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar inspecting seized weapons. — DawnNews screengrab|
'No Nato weaponry transported through Karachi'
In a tweet posted on its official Twitter account, the US State Department said that the United States and the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) had never used the Karachi port to transport weapons and explosives.
According to Rangers spokesperson Colonel Tahir, ammunition stolen from Nato containers was also seized during the search operation at Nine Zero.
Nine-Zero is not a no-go zone: Altaf
MQM chief Altaf Hussain has said in a statement that the party's Nine Zero headquarters is not a no-go zone and that the statement made by Corps Commander Karachi in this regard is not based on facts.
He added that several different families resided in the surroundings of Nine Zero hence the movement of thousands of people could not be restricted.
He also refuted the claim of Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar that the grand operation in Karachi was being conducted without any bias.
Cases registered against 27 MQM workers
Cases were registered against 27 MQM workers at Azizabad police station.
Sources told DawnNews that more than 10 cases were lodged over illegal possession of weapons, acts of terrorism and sheltering criminals. All cases are being registered in accordance with the Anti-Terrorism Act.
27 MQM suspects produced in ATC
Twenty seven MQM suspects, who were arrested in yesterday's raid, were produced in an anti-terrorism court in Karachi today.
The arrested suspects, including MQM's Central Coordination Committee member Amir Khan, were remanded to Rangers personnel under the PPO for 90 days.