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KARACHI: Zeeshan Kazmi found shot dead

October 16, 2003

KARACHI, Oct 15: Zeeshan Kazmi, a police inspector who who had become one of the most controversial figures during the ‘operation clean-up’, led by a former interior minister Gen Naseerullah Babar, in Karachi, was found dead in PECHS late Tuesday night.

His body, wrapped in a cloth sheet, was believed to have been thrown out of a moving vehicle. Police found the body lying at a section of the Khalid Bin Waleed Road in block 2 of PECHS. It was first shifted to the Jinnah Post-graduate Medical Centre for autopsy and then placed in the Edhi morgue till being unidentified.

Family members told Dawn that Zeeshan had gone missing at about 8pm Tuesday night and that his cell phone was not responding since then.

“Our worst apprehensions were confirmed when we saw the photographs published in some of the morning newspapers,” said some relatives of the victim.

At the Edhi morgue, the body was identified by Zeeshan’s brother, Irfan Kazmi, who is an ASI in the traffic police. As soon as Mrs Zeeshan, accompanying some other women of the family, recognized her husband’s body, she fell faint.

Some police officials, who had worked with Kazmi, also visited the morgue and identified his body.

At the JPMC, where autopsy was conducted, sources said that the body had only one bullet injury — in the head. The bullet pierced through the skull, they added.

A senior police official, citing burn marks on certain parts of the body, indicated that the victim might have been subjected to torture by the killers. The burns seemed to be inflicted with cigarette, he said.

Inspector Syed Zeeshan Kazmi was an absconding accused in the Mir Murtaza Bhutto murder case (FIR No. 443/96) since May 3, 2002 when he managed to escape from the court of the district and sessions judge (East) after his pre-arrest bail plea was turned down.

He was dismissed from police service on September 3, 2003 for his long and wilful absence from the duty.

It may be recalled that Zeeshan Kazmi had indulged in scuffle with a policeman and some court employees while he was trying to escape from the court of Judge Ali Sain Dino Matlo, who had rejected his bail plea and ordered his arrest. The accused got his shirt torn off during the scuffle. Leaving behind the shirt, his official pistol with two magazines, NIC, service card and an amount of Rs3,520, the inspector took to his heels with his associates on a motorcycle.

Mir Murtaza Bhutto, founder of the Pakistan People’s Party (Shaheed Bhutto) and a son of the executed prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was killed along with one of his close aides Ashiq Jatoi and five other people in a police action in September 1996. The police action had been carried out, allegedly following a shootout, some 100 meters from his residence in Clifton.

Besides Asif Ali Zardari, many other officials, including DIG of Karachi, Dr Shoaib Suddle, SSP South Wajid Durrani, chief of the Intelligence Bureau Masood Sharif, ASPs Shahid Hayat and Rai Tahir, SHOs Agha Jameel and Shabbir Qaimkhani, had been nominated as accused in the FIR at that time.

Almost all the accused, including Asif Ali Zardari, are on bail in the case while the trial is being held in jail.