Islamabad Police have arrested a man suspected to be involved in the killing of former federal minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti.
The police are interrogating the suspect, who was traced through his cell phone.
The suspect Hafiz Nazar Muhammad was arrested by the police on June 19, and booked at the I-9 police station, under Section 302/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
I-9 industrial area’s police on Monday obtained a five-day physical remand of the suspect from an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.
The police said they wanted to interrogate him about his accomplices.
The investigators informed the court that Nazar had called a minorities’ lawmaker from Sargohda Tahir Nazeer Chaudhry and claimed he knew Bhatti’s assassins.
The MPA informed the police who subsequently tracked Nazar down.
A detailed investigation was conducted before arresting Nazar, who is believed to have been working with Bhatti for the past 10 years.
Police sources also claim that the accused pretended to be a Christian pastor and had a personal grudge against the minister.
The police would produce the suspect on June 25 for further investigations.
No witnesses or evidence has yet been presented to prove that Nazar was involved in the killing, sources add.
Bhatti, the only Christian in the federal cabinet, was killed in Islamabad on March 2 this year by three unidentified gunmen.
The killers, reportedly belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, left a note stating they had killed Bhatti for raising his voice against the blasphemy laws.
Earlier, Bhatti had voiced his fears that he believed he would be “the next target” following the assassination of Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer for speaking out against the blasphemy law.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2011.