KARACHI: In what appears to be yet another startling allegation against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Rangers officials told media that billions of rupees generated through land scams in the port city had been transferred to the party's London secretariat.
The statement came from the paramilitary force officials when they presented an official of the now defunct Karachi Development Authority (KDA) before an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday.
Atif Ahmed, an assistant director at the KDA that was responsible for land development in the city, was arrested on the night of June 26 as the Rangers raided his residence in Malir's Liaquat Market area. Reportedly, the paramilitary force had also confiscated some documents from him. After that, Ahmed's whereabouts were unknown till Saturday.
The suspect, whose face was covered with a piece of cloth, was presented before the ATC-III. The hearing, which lasted for a couple of minutes only, took place inside the chamber of the judge, Saleem Raza Baloch. Since the proceedings remained secret, nothing could be known about what happened inside.
Read: 'Confession documents' of Tariq Mir alleging Indian funding of MQM are fake: London Police
However, a lawyer of the paramilitary force told journalists waiting outside the judge's chamber that the suspect, during initial interrogation, had confessed to committing several irregularities in the land development by the KDA.
He said that at least Rs17 billion made through 'china cutting' - a notorious term used to describe encroachment of public land, dividing it into smaller plots, selling them to people and getting them regularised illegally - were sent to MQM's international secretariat in London.
Read: India ‘funding MQM since 1994’
The money, he added, was sent through a middleman, identified as Chunnu Mamoo, to a top leader of the party, Muhammad Anwar. However, none of the documents supporting this claim of Rangers was submitted to the court except for the detention order and jail warrant of the suspect.
After informing the court, the paramilitary force took the suspect into custody for three months under the special powers it enjoys following the enactment of the Pakistan Protection Act, for interrogation.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2015.