KARACHI: An employee of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) - who disappeared allegedly due to some links he had with the murder of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Imran Farooq - is still missing and the court wants to know what has been done to recover him.
At a hearing on Tuesday, the Sindh High Court directed the federal law officer to file a progress report by August 28 on the efforts made to recover Khalid Shamim, who went missing in January 2011, a few months after the high-profile murder of Dr Imran Farooq in London.
On September 16, 2010, 50-year-old Farooq was on his way home from work when he was attacked in Green Lane, outside his London home. The post-mortem examination revealed that he died from multiple stab wounds.
Seemingly unrelated to the incident, Khalid Shamim was picked up by some authorities in Karachi in January 2011, said his wife, Beena Khalid. In her petition in the high court. Beena said that the family was in a car and Khalid stopped at an ATM in Malir when some men belonging to the law enforcement agencies whisked him away. The incident was witnessed by many people but no one could help her, she claimed.
According to her, Khalid was neither involved in any criminal activities nor was he affiliated with any political party. Later, the authorities said that Khalid along with another man was taken into custody from Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport in connection with the murder case of Dr Imran Farooq.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the petitioner Beena Khalid said she was receiving threatening calls from unknown numbers and callers were harassing and hurling life threats.
Headed by Justice Ghulam Sarwar Korai, the bench also directed SSP East and Model Colony SHO to provide protection to the missing person’s wife. The bench also directed SHC’s assistant registrar to immediately communicate the court orders to the relevant police officials via telephone so they can arrange her security at the earliest.
Filling the gaps
Some time after Beena went to court to file a petition on her missing husband, news broke that two men have been arrested from Karachi airport for their alleged involvement in the murder of Dr Farooq. The two men were reportedly taken into custody from Jinnah airport as soon as they arrived from Sri Lanka. One of the men was later identified as Khalid.
It was reported that a Pakistani intelligence agency picked him up from the airport and managed to take him into custody, following leads provided by the British government. A political activist, Fahim Siddiqui, was also taken into custody on the information allegedly provided by Khalid.
An official said that Khalid was called to Karachi by his companions to kill him as soon as he would have arrived to make sure no one else gets to him first. Some officials believed Khalid has been taken into custody to provide him protection and investigate the murder with his help.
Nevertheless, the police or any intelligence agencies have come forward with Khalid’s arrest and there are no cases registered against him at any police station in Karachi, or London. A senior police official told The Express Tribune that it is a high-profile matter. Even the police do not have any information about Khalid or his companion, he said.
On November 11, 2012, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe disclosed, however, to Geo News that two suspects were in the custody of Pakistani authorities over suspicions that they killed Dr Farooq. The authorities have yet to confirm whether these suspects are still in Pakistani custody or have been handed over to Scotland Yard.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2013.
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