Moazzam Ali Khan, a 'key' suspect held in the murder case of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Imran Farooq was handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the Sindh Rangers informed an anti-terrorism court on Monday.
Farooq, 50, who served as the first secretary general and convener of the MQM, was stabbed to death outside his North London residence on September 16, 2010, hours before his party was preparing to celebrate the 57th birthday of its chief, Altaf Hussain.
The paramilitary force submitted a letter containing signatures of its Sachal wing's sector commander to the ATC-II that Khan's custody had been given to the FIA.
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Khan, who is suspected to have abetted Farooq's killer, was taken into 90-day prevention detention for questioning following his arrest from his house.
The Rangers officials did not mention his detention specifically in the murder case. However, they contended that he was being grilled for his alleged involvement in target killings, extortion, kidnapping and other acts of terrorism.
Another breakthrough in the murder investigations was reported on June 18 when the Frontier Constabulary (FC) claimed to have arrested two wanted suspects, identified as Khalid Shamim and Mohsin Ali, from near the Chaman border.
The FC spokesperson had told media that both the suspects were apprehended at Addah Kahol area when they were trying to enter Pakistan from Afghanistan. Subsequently, the suspects were handed over to the FIA.
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Perhaps, for the complexity in the legal process to try the suspects for an offence that took place off shore, the authorities are still undecided whether they would keep the suspect here or would hand them over to the London police. Also the suspects have yet to be formally implicated in the case and are merely being interrogated.
It was also reported recently that a two-member team of the Scotland Yard, the UK agency investigating the murder primarily, which arrived in Pakistan late June, had finished questioning Khan. The interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar, also confirmed the report in a press conference, adding that the investigations of the murder case have entered into a decisive phase.
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All three suspects are being kept in federal capital, Islamabad, and the option of handing over the suspects to Scotland Yard is under consideration between the two countries.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2015.