Afaq to face yet another case


Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H) chief Afaq Ahmed – detained at the Malir District Jail under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) – was again arrested by the police on Thursday in a case stated to have been registered over 10 years ago. The police have informed an anti-terrorism court (ATC) of Afaq’s arrest and he is expected to be produced before the court today for remand. The MQM-H chief’s arrest comes only a day after the party’s rival, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), announced rejoining the Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition governments.
Afaq has been in jail since 2004, when the MQM came into power and Arbab Ghulam Rahim was the Sindh chief minister. The MQM-H headquarter, Baitul Hamza was razed to the ground, sending a strong signal to the Haqiqi leadership. On September 26, the Sindh High Court (SHC) had granted Afaq’s bail in the last case registered against him – murder of an MQM activist in 2009. However, on September 28, the MQM-H chief was detained on the orders of Sindh Home Department under MPO. The detention order of MQM-H leader was also challenged in the SHC as an office bearer of a welfare organisation had filed a petition submitting that the detention of Afaq was a clear violation of the constitution and human rights.
He had sought suspension of the detention order and Afaq’s immediate release. A SHC division bench comprising Chief Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Imam Baksh Baloch had sought a reply from the respondents within a week. The Sindh Inspector General of Police had stated that the detention of MQM-H chief was only for one month under the MPO and not for an indefinite period or permanent.
On Thursday, Korangi Station House Officer (SHO) Farooq Satti appeared before ATC-II judge and submitted that Afaq s/o Shafaq Hussain was an absconder in a kidnapping for ransom case registered 10 years and five months ago.
According to prosecution, an engineer named Jameel Ahmed, working in now-defunct Karachi Development Authority, was abducted on May 6, 2001. The case against his disappearance was registered at the Korangi police station against four persons. Zafar Khan and former Sindh Assembly MPA Younis Khan were nominated as the accused while two others were declared unidentified. According to sources in Korangi police, the nominated persons were released on bail in 2003 and on mala fide intention, the name of MQM-H chief was included in 2005.
It is worth mentioning that the SHC had on July 14 ordered the police not to arrest nor implicate Afaq in any more cases without informing the court. The SHO prayed that the court issue production orders of Afaq so police can present him in the court. The MQM-H chief is expected to be presented before ATC-II Judge Khalida Yasin.

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