KARACHI: Hours ahead of former president Asif Ali Zardari’s arrival in Karachi, the paramilitary force in the city raided offices of his close aide and businessman, Anwar Majid.
Officials of the paramilitary force confiscated records and detained five staff members after raids at Anwar Majid’s offices located on II Chundrigar Road and near Hockey Stadium. Weapons were also recovered during the raids.
The first raid was carried out at Omni office at II Chundrigar Road and two employees were detained. Later, the Rangers raided another office near Hockey Stadium and detained other suspects.
The raids and arrests were confirmed by the paramilitary force in a press release, which stated that an intelligence-based raid on a company’s offices at II Chundrigar Road and Hockey Stadium was carried out. “Five people were rounded up and a huge cache of arms and ammunition was also seized from the premises,” it added. “Those who have been detained include Shahzad Shahid, Rajab Ali Rajper, Ajmal Khan, Kamran Munir Ansari and Kashif Hussain.” It added that the seized ammunition comprises 17 Kalashnikovs, 4 pistols, 3,255 bullets, 9 ball bombs. The statement said legal action will be taken against the suspects and their facilitators after a complete scrutiny of weapons and documents.
Majid is a Karachi-based businessman and a close friend of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson Zardari, who looks after his businesses including sugar mills. Majid’s name came to fore for the first time after former Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza revealed the relation between Zardari and Majid, alleging that Majid is a partner of Zardari in corruption deals. Reacting upon the raid, information adviser Maula Bux Chandio said that the paramilitary force did not take Sindh government and police into confidence before the raid. Speaking to the media, he labelled the raid ‘political victimisation’ of the party. “The action has been taken after federal interior minister’s remarks against PPP.”
Differences with IG
Majid is also alleged to have been involved in the transfers and postings of police officers in Sindh and is believed to have played a vital role in the chief minister’s recent decision to send Sindh IG Allah Dino Khawaja on a ‘forced leave’.
A police officer, requesting anonymity, said that Khawaja had differences with the PPP leadership with regards to issues such as transfer and postings of the policemen. However, the recent differences between Khawaja and Majid emerged when the latter refused to involve the police in a dispute between sugarcane growers and millers. It became the main reason behind sending IG on a ‘forced leave’.
“They two men had a verbal spat and then Majid complained to Zardari and asked him to remove the IG,” the officer explained.
Interestingly, the matter is only not limited to transfer and postings of police officers but also relates to raids and recovery of sophisticated arms and ammunitions from a bungalow in Clifton.
During the second week of November, a huge cache of weapons was recovered when law enforcement agencies raided a house in the Old Clifton area. Eight bags full of weapons were seized from the house, which included seven M-4 rifles, six sub-machine guns, two 7mm rifles, two .223 rifles, four 12-bore, one G3, one 222 rifle and two 9mm pistols. Two police caps and two daggers were also found from the house.
According to police sources, the weapons belonged to Nisar Morai, the former chairperson of the Fisherman Cooperative Society. He was also known to be a frontman of Zardari. The police have remained tight-lipped over the weapons bust and said that the weapons were recovered from a garbage dump. A case was registered at the Boat Basin police station against unidentified persons. A source in the police department said that the police had been pressurised from publicising the news and IG Khawaja was asked not to publicise the news and return the weapons back from where they were seized. However, the IG refused to cooperate with the Sindh government.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2016.