KARACHI: Police claimed on Wednesday to have arrested a target killer who was involved in the murder of his own party's legislator in the Sindh Assembly.
The suspect, affiliated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) - London, was identified as Zahid Iqbal, son of Niaz Ahmed. He was apprehended during a raid in Orangi Town conducted by the New Karachi police. The police also recovered a 9mm pistol and hand grenade from his possession.
Iqbal's arrest was disclosed during a press conference by District Central police chief SSP Dr Rizwan Ahmed Khan. The SSP informed the media that the suspect had been a 'militant worker' of the MQM since the 1990s.
"He went into hiding after he killed his own party's MPA, Manzar Imam, in Orangi Town in 2013," the officer claimed. "Besides the MPA's killing, the accused has also been found involved in 18 more cases of crime, including targeted killings, extortion and disturbing law and order situation during strikes."
According to the police, Iqbal was a part of the MQM's former Karachi Tanzimi Committee incharge Hammad Siddiqui's team and committed crimes on the directions of Siddiqui, former Orangi Town sector incharge Afsar Hussain Zaidi and former unit incharge Shafqat.
The accused has also reportedly confessed to his involvement in setting vehicles ablaze to create panic during strikes at the time of the Karachi operation in the 1990s. He also reportedly identified 20 of his accomplices, including Mobin, Nawab, Shafqat, Marshal, Arman, Ashfaq, Alauddin alias Kala Pappu, Azam, Danish alias DC, Sabir, Rabbani alias Firon and Anwar alias Lomrian.
According to the police, he also confessed to killing a woman, Shaheen Perveen, and later dumping her body at Dabba Mor in North Karachi in 1996. The police claim that he and his companions were also involved in multiple other killings, including those of political parties' workers.
However, this is not the first time law enforcement agencies have claimed to have arrested Imam's killer. The police and Rangers made similar claims earlier as well as they arrested militants of the MQM-London and banned militant outfits.
The 43-year-old MPA was shot dead in Orangi Town on January 17, 2013, along with two police guards and a driver. In 2015, the Rangers claimed to have arrested a suspect who was involved in Imam's killing. A statement issued by the paramilitary force said that Imam's suspected killer was nabbed during a raid in the Taiser Town area of Karachi. A Rangers spokesperson had revealed that his name was Muhammad Ashiq and that he confessed to killing the MQM legislator and his guards.
On September 21, 2016, the Pirabad police claimed that they had arrested a target killer, Ashfaq Ali alias Chief, who was involved in the killing of nine people, including Imam. The police also claimed to have recovered a Kalashnikov from the suspect's possession. Former West SSP Pir Muhammad Shah had announced that the suspect had killed Imam and had also confessed to killing his own unit member Sadaqat Hussain Jafri.
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