Preventive detention: MQM’s Qamar Mansoor to be grilled for 90 days

Rangers say they have ‘credible information’ about his involvement in target killings, extortion

Our Correspondent July 22, 2015
MQM leader Qamar Mansoor

KARACHI: The Sindh Rangers informed an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday about the 90-day preventive detention of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Qamar Mansoor, contending that they had 'credible information' about his alleged involvement in target killings, extortion, kidnappings and other such acts.

MQM's Rabita Committee incharge Kaiful Wara and member Mansoor were taken into custody in a paramilitary swoop at the party headquarters, Nine Zero, in the wee hours of July 17. Wara was released a day after his arrest on personal surety. However, Mansoor remained in custody. On Sunday, he was produced before a judicial magistrate for transit remand since the ATCs were closed during Eid holidays.

When Mansoor was presented before the court on Wednesday, he was escorted by two paramilitary Rangers who helped him walk as he was unable to stand on his own. He was suffering from pain in his kidney and backbone. Throughout the hearing, his hand remained stretched over his back. The judge inquired him about his health, to which he replied that he has been suffering from kidney and backbone problem for the past 16 years and it became worse during the detention. He complained of displacement of his spinal cord and that he bleeds while passing urine.

The Rangers' law officer intervened and told the judge that Mansoor was being treated. However, Mansoor insisted that he wished to be treated at Ziauddin Hospital in North Nazimabad or at Liaquat National Hospital as the doctors there had his medical record.

Afterwards, the suspect's counsel, Advocate Muhammad Jiwani, pleaded the judge turn down the prosecution's plea of sending his client to prison for three months. He argued that the long detention was planned with mala fide intentions and ulterior motives. Mansoor has a number of cases against him and he should be remanded instead, said Jiwani, referring to the recent FIRs registered against MQM chief Altaf Hussain and other leaders over the alleged hate speech against the armed forces.

If he knew about the cases against him, why he did not appear before the court to surrender himself, the judge asked. "Don't act innocent as if you did not know anything. You should have appeared before the court."

After going through the papers submitted by both sides, the judge observed that the prosecution's plea of taking the suspect into custody for 90 days has been approved. However, she also directed the investigators to submit a medical report of the suspect by July 27.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2015.