Saad Aziz, one of the culprits arrested for involvement in The Second Floor café director Sabeen Mahmud’s murder confessed on Friday to killing her, Express News reported.
“We shot her for holding a Valentine’s Day rally,” Aziz reportedly said in his statement to the police.
“My friend was riding the motorcycle but I was sitting at the back and I shot her,” he added.
The IBA graduate added, “When she sat in the car after her Balochistan seminar, I followed her and when her car stopped at Sunset Boulevard signal I shot her.”
Aziz claimed he was a regular attendee at seminars held at Mahmud’s café and was also present at the seminar on ‘Unsilencing Balochistan’ following which she was shot dead.
“We followed her for days and gathered information on her before killing her,” the 27-year-old, father of one said.
Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Thursday while announcing that four men had been arrested claimed, Aziz, who had studied in the BBA programme at the IBA Karachi, was the mastermind of Mahmud’s murder, and the main accused in the Safoora incident.
Sabeen, along with her mother, was returning home from T2F in Defence Phase-II Extension when her car was attacked near the Defence Central Library traffic signal.
Hours earlier, she had hosted a seminar on the troubled province of Balochistan, featuring Mama Qadeer, the chairperson of Voice for Missing Baloch.
A ‘normal’ kid
Friends recall that Saad was a ‘normal’ kid. He played football for IBA United and had a GPA above 3.0.
“For the first two years, he was a burger kid. He had girlfriends and we would have shisha at Indulge. He was funny, acted in plays and danced,” said a young man who was once a close friend.
But that all ended in his third year and his friends began noticing the radical nature of some of the changes Saad made in his life. He stopped talking to girls, began bunking classes and grew his beard out. He also dropped his old friends and began hanging out with religious-minded people from IBA’s Iqra Society.
After graduation, Saad lost touch with his friends. “He went somewhere for a few months. Someone said he had gone for jihad training,” said another friend.
“We knew he had gone off-track. He was not part of the Tableeghi Jamaat. He had become part of something else.”
In the year 2013, around eight ‘like-minded’ IBA graduates from the 2010 and 2011 batches began publishing an online magazine, titled ‘Al Rashideen’ [The Rightly Guided] in English.
Saad, who had expertise in producing different kind of pro-al Qaeda and Taliban media, was a part of its editorial team. “We present you this first issue of Al Rashideen,” he wrote under the screen-name ‘the editor’s desk’.
“We hope this to be a platform where relevant issues facing the Ummah are studied and analysed upon by students of colleges and universities, and Muslim youngsters whose first or second language is English.”
The first issue of this amateurishly-designed magazine, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, had “Iran must fall before Palestine can be liberated” as its cover story along with other disturbingly radical content. For instance, a sectarian speech made by Haq Nawaz Jhangvi , who founded Sipah-e-Sahaba in the 1980, was translated and reproduced with the title ‘The men who rocked Kufr’.
Saad, who did his O-levels from Beacon House and A-levels from Lyceum, is married and even has a baby daughter. He belongs to a well-to-do family; his father was once a director at Unilever, while he himself owns a restaurant.