Waseem Akhtar given into police custody

SSP Rao Anwar denies allegations of victimising MQM leader.

Zubair Ashraf July 21, 2016
A file photo of MQM leader Waseem Akhtar. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Karachi’s mayor-designate Waseem Akhtar has been handed over to SSP Malir Rao Anwar for interrogation in two cases pertaining to controversial speeches of Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain, an anti-terrorism court official confirmed to The Express Tribune on Wednesday.

Akhtar was taken into custody on Tuesday after the ATC-II rejected his bail plea in a terror facilitation case involving former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain. He was confined in the Central Jail.

According to the court official, the Malir police approached the ATC judge, seeking a non-objection certificate to grill Akhtar in two cases in which he was nominated as a co-accused. The judge granted their request.

The police, later in the day, brought the MQM leader to the Sindh High Court to obtain his remand from the anti-terrorism court’s administrative judge in the cases. But the official timings were over; therefore they had taken him back to jail.

“We have arrested him. He is in our [Malir police] custody,” SSP Rao Anwar told The Express Tribune, adding Akhtar will be presented before the court again on Thursday (today).

Refuting the allegations that the MQM leader will be victimised in his custody, the SSP said the investigation wing kept the custody of Akhtar.

“There is no such thing as personal vendetta. He is nominated in FIRs lodged by people. We have not fabricated any case against him.”

Addressing a hurriedly called press conference at the party secretariat, Deputy Convener Kunwar Naveed criticise the decision to transfer Akhtar’s custody to a police officer rather than to a jail.

Calling the transfer of custody unlawful, he appealed to the judiciary and state institutions to end the victimization of MQM members. Naveed also announced that MQM will hold a protest at the Karachi Press Club on Friday against the arrests of Wasim Akhtar, Rauf Siddiqui and other party members.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2016.


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