The arrest of Raheem Swati, in the murder case of social activist Perween Rahman, would lead to many other high-profile suspects involved in land-grabbing across the city, said Anwar Rashid, the current director of the Orangi Pilot Project.
Raheem, a former councillor belonging to the Awami National Party (ANP) has also been linked to the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, was arrested in Manghopir on Saturday for allegedly masterminding the 2013 murder of Rehman.
Addressing local media, Rashid said that Swati was just one of the mediators who brokered deals, for the big names behind real estate business in Karachi. It seems that his confession would lead to many other real estate actors in the city.”
Rehman’s sister, Aquila Ismail, expressed her suspicion about the earlier arrests made by the police. One of those apprehensions was related to the killing of a suspected assassin in a police encounter the very next day of Rehman’s murder on March 13, 2013. At various forums held between 2014 and 2015, Ismail hinted that the case is being intentionally weakened.
Read more: SC directs to provide security to deceased Parveen Rehman’s family
The case was eventually closed until a petition was filed in the Supreme Court in July 2013 by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan chairperson Zohra Yusuf. The petition was admitted in January 2014 and a joint investigation team (JIT) was formed on a directive of the apex court by the Sindh home department. The JIT met the police team investigating the murder as well as members of the OPP.
In 2015, two suspects — Imran Swati and Pappu Kashmiri — were arrested. “They gave us the name of Raheem Swati, who is the prime suspect in the case and affiliated with the Awami National Party in Karachi,” said SSP-West Azfar Mahesar, who has been associated with the case for the past one and a half years.
He added that two more suspects — Mohammad Ayaz and Amjad Afridi — were yet to be arrested. They also belonged to the same political party, he said. He said a JIT would interrogate suspect Swati in the coming days.
Read more: Key suspect in Parveen Rehman murder case held