MQM's Saleem Shahzad arrested upon arrival in Karachi

The self-exiled leader had left for London in 1992

Zubair Ashraf February 06, 2017
MQM leader Saleem Shahzad is held by SSP Malir Rao Anwar at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on Monday. SCREEN GRAB

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Saleem Shahzad was arrested by the police upon arrival in Karachi on Monday.

The self-exiled politician, who left for London in 1992, arrived in the country after 24 years, and was held by SSP Malir Rao Anwar at the Jinnah International Airport.

MQM's Saleem Shahzad says will return to Pakistan soon

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Karachi, in December 2015, issued non-bailable arrest warrants for political leaders, including Shahzad, after they were declared absconders in the Dr Asim Hussain terror facilitation case.

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Immigration authorities confiscated the MQM leader's passport and contacted the police.

In August last year, Shahzad said he would soon return to Pakistan to strengthen MQM-Pakistan leader Farooq Sattar and his party, after Sattar dissociated the MQM from Altaf Hussain.

The MQM in 2014 suspended Shahzad’s party’s membership, extending a warning to all members to strictly adhere to its code of conduct. In April, his non-bailable arrest warrants were also issued by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Dr Asim Hussain terror facilitation case.

Shahzad’s arrival was not planned

Meanwhile, MQM Pakistan said Shahzad did not discuss his arrival with the party.

“The possibility of him joining the party was not under consideration,” a statement said, adding the former leader had been away from politics. “We hope that Shahzad, who is also a cancer patient, will be provided justice according to law.”


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