Interior ministry seeks to place senior MQM leaders on ECL: sources

Source:  Tribune Published in Politics on Thursday, March 19, 2015

KARACHI: The interior ministry is attempting to add the names of senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders on the Exit Control List (ECL), sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.

MQM leaders whose names are under consideration for being placed on the ECL include, Babar Ghauri, Haider Abbas Rizvi, Wasay Jalil, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Aamir Khan, Waseem Akhtar and Senator Tahir Mashhadi.

The sources further claimed that the interior ministry has directed airport authorities to monitor the movement of Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, also in bid to bar him from travelling. Although, they have decided against placing his name on the ECL.

The move comes after a confessional video of former MQM worker Saulat Mirza was released hours before he was scheduled to be executed. In the video, Mirza said he killed former KESC Director Shahid Hamid on the directives of party chief Altaf Hussain.

According to the video released by a private television channel late on Wednesday, Mirza alleged that he received the order for the ‘hit’ from Altaf at MQM leader Babar Ghauri’s residence.

Mirza revealed that orders were given on telephone by the party chief himself. Usually, the party chief would either give orders himself or through the likes of Babar Ghauri.

He further alleged that people whom the party wanted to save from police torture are provided protection in police stations through Governor Ishratul Ebad.

The sources further said MQM workers Hammad Siddiqui and Saleem Shehzad who fled from the country are being called back.

As per a Rangers press release issued on March 14, “On the orders of Karachi Tanzeemi Committee (KTC) member Hammad Siddiqui, Siddiqui formed a target killing team comprising of 32 workers.”

Separately, the Rangers in a statement has warned people from donating money to any criminal organization.

“If you receive any extortion threats, call the Rangers helpline immediately,” the statement added.

Last week, in the wee hours of the headquarters of the MQM in Karachi, and arrested several party workers.

Just yesterday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar handed over to the United Kingdom ‘evidence of use of threatening language’ against Pakistan’s security agencies by a British citizen, MQM chief Altaf Hussain.

Nisar further asked the British High Commissioner Philip Barton to hand over the suspects involved in Dr Imran Farooq murder case.

Briefing the assembly on his meeting today, Nisar said, “I briefed him about arrests made in Imran Farooq murder case.”

“There is no political motive behind investigating Dr Imran Farooq murder case,” he added.

Nisar clarified the government is only pressing for the handover of Farooq’s murderers so they are brought to justice.

Farooq, 50, was a former leader of MQM and had lived in London in self-imposed exile from 1999. He was on his way back from work when he was attacked outside his home in Edgware, north London, in September 2010. A post-mortem gave the cause of death as multiple stab wounds and blunt trauma to the head. A kitchen knife and a house brick used in the attack were recovered at the scene.

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