Karachi Electric Supply Company’s legal adviser for criminal cases was found dead with his friend and the friend’s assistant in a small flat that served as an office in DHA Phase II on Tuesday.
Advocate Fahim-ul Kareem Sarwat, the eldest of six siblings, lived in Gizri with his wife and two children. The second body belonged to Wajid Mughal. An art director by profession, Mughal had rented the flat a short while ago where he was often visited by Sarwat, who was a friend. Mughal’s body lay across the tiny white-tiled bathroom in a pool of blood. His head is believed to have been smashed against the toilet multiple times. The bathroom door was covered with shoe prints as if someone kicked it open.
The third victim, a young woman identified as Quratulain or Ainie, was found in the same room as Sarwat. She is said to have been a makeup artist and Mughal’s assistant. She and Sarwat appeared to have been strangled. The bodies were found at around 4pm on Tuesday by the Defence police, who were supposedly tipped off by a caller. Defence SHO Raja Mushtaq did not confirm this.
The police was cautious about making any initial claims as to the motive. But Sarwat’s brother Noman stressed he had no enemies. He would work late at KESC and would sometimes hang out afterwards with Mughal.
Speaking to The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity, a neighbour said that they heard loud noises at around 2am. When it got louder, the neighbour went over to knock. “It took Mughal several minutes to respond,” the neighbour said. He insisted everything was fine. But about 20 minutes later, the neighbour heard what sounded like a gunshot. “But I ignored it, thinking that you hear these noises every day. It could have been anyone or anything. Shortly after that I went off to bed.”
The police did not find any bullet shells or holes in the wall.
As the lawyer was with KESC, SSP South Naseem Sheikh told The Express Tribune that they were looking into his role in the controversial golden handshake the company offered staff. This led to widespread protests and violence in which workers were booked.
However, as the murder scene suggested that a party could have been under way, the police are investigating the possibility of a fight. Empty bottles of alcohol lay on the floor and the bodies of both men reeked of the spirit. Only a post mortem report will be able to determine blood alcohol levels as there is a possibility that the bottles were planted by the murderers. Fahim ul Kareem Sarwat was the son of Abdul Kareem who is also a lawyer. Both father and son were members of the Karachi Bar Association (KBA). Strongly condemning the murder, the KBA’s Mohammad Aqil announced a boycott of courts on Wednesday.
Aqil said Sarwat began his legal career about three years ago, by fighting civil cases and he had also worked with the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board and City District Government Karachi.
KESC’s director of corporate communications, Ayesha Eirabie, told The Express Tribune that they wanted a proper investigation.
“Sarwat was an integral part of our legal team and he had worked deliberately hard towards the registration and prosecution of numerous criminal cases of significant importance to the company,” said a press statement. “We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends and assure everyone that we would follow this matter until it is rightly investigated and criminals are brought to their deserving end.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2011.