The grand display of firepower reminded viewers of the IDEAS exhibitions held at Expo Centre in Karachi as a huge cache of firearms was put on display for the media inside the office of Central DIG.
The police claimed to have seized, in collaboration with intelligence agencies, the biggest ever cache of firearms in the history of Karachi in a predawn raid on Wednesday near the sealed headquarters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Azizabad.
Interestingly, law enforcement agencies, particularly Rangers, have raided Azizabad a number of times in the past and claimed similar but much lower in scale recoveries.
Law enforcers have been deployed in the area since the authorities sealed the MQM’s headquarters and offices in Azizabad following the August 22 ‘anti-Pakistan’ speech by party founder Altaf Hussain. Nevertheless, this recovery was made from a 10-by-10 feet customised underground compartment of an abandoned 120-square-yards house close to Lal Qila Ground in Azizabad. The house has remained deserted for almost three years. “We did not find anyone in the house for over a couple of years,” said a neighbour. “But it has been in the use of militants of the MQM.”
The police found a calendar of 2014 hanging on a wall inside the house. They also found that the house is registered in the name of Shaikh Naeemullah. “Right now, we do not have accurate information,” said Central DIG Zulfikar Larik, adding thath, “We are trying to acquire the details of the owners or tenants. Also, it has to be checked for how long these weapons have been hidden.”
Weapons not common in Pakistan are also among the recovered arms. “Weapons used by NATO forces and some official Pakistani weapons are also among the recovered arms,” said Karachi Additional IG Mushtaq Maher. “We are conducting forensic tests of these weapons to ascertain if they have earlier been used in Karachi.”
The police had to hire at least three Mazda trucks to shift the huge cache of weapons to the DIG office where AIG Karachi along with the Central DIG and SSP Muqaddas Haider held a press conference.
According to Maher, the huge cache of arms and gadgets suggests that it was for the preparations of a war. “However, we have reports that these weapons were also to be used during Muharram,” he said. “This is not only the biggest recovery in the history of Karachi but also the biggest ever in the history of Sindh.”
Earlier, during a press conference, AIG Maher said that the weapons had to be used in criminal and terrorist activities in Karachi by the ‘South African network of a political party’ on behest of elements in London and Indian’s spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
“These weapons were bought with extorted money and several influential figures of a political party were involved in purchasing them,” claimed Maher. “Soon there will be more arrests in connection with this recovery.”
Without naming the party, Maher said the police were successful in recovering these weapons on the basis of information provided by an arrested militant of a political party. “It should be understood [which party it is] when I have mentioned Nine Zero and Azizabad,” he replied when asked to name the party.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the MQM-Pakistan denied any association with the recovered arms and ammunition. “MQM-Pakistan is a non-violent party and has no link with the recovered weapons,” he told The Express Tribune.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2016.