For the last three years, slain provincial legislator Manzar Imam had been on the hit-list of militants over his “collaboration” with law enforcement agencies in apprehending Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi members, investigators revealed.
On Thursday, armed men on motorcycles shot dead the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) legislator, along with his driver and two security guards, in the Orangi Town neighbourhood of Karachi. Investigators told The Express Tribune that in August 2010, Imam had closely coordinated with law-enforcement agencies in arresting the LeJ militants involved in Haider’s assassination – Waseem, aka Waseem Barodi, and Abdullah, aka Taimoor.
They pointed out that Imam had also played a key role in the arrest of five TTP militants allegedly involved in the Ayesha Manzil bomb blast on January 1.
A senior police officer told The Express Tribune that Imam was killed by the Naeem Bukhari group of LeJ, which was also behind Haider’s assassination.
Imam also had a hand in the arrest of Bukhari’s Sindh chapter chief Hafiz Qasim Rasheed in October last year.
“Bukhari is the TTP’s most powerful weapon in Karachi,” CID SSP Fayyaz Khan told The Express Tribune. “The TTP claims responsibility for whatever Bukhari does.”
When questioned, SSP Khan neither confirmed nor denied Imam’s reported coordination with law enforcers. However, he did concede that Imam had been active against terrorists, especially those from LeJ, in Orangi Town.
Police have registered an FIR against six unidentified people on the complaint of Mazhar Imam, Imam’s brother.
A nine-member inquiry team has been constituted to probe and arrest the culprits.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2013.