Rangers raid offices of Zardari’s aide, issue details


Sindh Rangers on Friday afternoon released information regarding raids conducted at offices located on I I  Chundrigar road and near the hockey stadium. The offices are said to belong to a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari.

According to a statement issued by the Rangers public relations office, the raids were conducted based on verified reports regarding the presence of illegal arms and ammunition and the involvement of arrested suspects in facilitating criminals.

Rangers also released details of the arms seized during the raids which include 17 AK-47 assault rifles, four hand guns, nine ball bombs and 3,325 rounds of live ammunition.

Important documents were also seized during the raids. After verification of the weapons and ammunition seized, action would be taken against the facilitators and the owners of the property from where the cache was seized, the Rangers statement concluded. According to sources in the Rangers, the offices belong to a company owned by Anwar Majeed, who is a close associate of former President Asif Ali Zardari.

The raids coincided with Zardari’s return home after living in Dubai for 18 months.

Four people were taken into custody during the raid at the I I Chundrigar office, while the admin manager from the office near Hockey Stadium was detained.

They were identified as Shehzad Shahid, Rajab Ali Rajpar, Ajmal Khan, Kamran Muneer Ansari and Kashif Hussain Shah.

Among them, the arrest of Kamran Muneer Ansari is being seen as highly important. He is said to be the man who supervises the sugar mill and all financial affairs of Majeed.

The sources further said that the individuals taken into custody have been shifted to an unknown location for interrogation.

Meanwhile, personnel of a law enforcement agency arrested another high-profile suspect from Defence area on Friday afternoon, sources said. The suspect, Nasir, was said to be a confidant of former DG Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) Manzoor Kaka.

Kaka, who has fled the country, is wanted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Chandio voices concerns over Karachi raids

Voicing concerns over the raids in Karachi, Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister on Information Maula Bux Chandio said neither the provincial government nor the police were taken into confidence regarding the intelligence-based raids.

“After bitter statements by Chaudhry Nisar, a wrong impression was created that the searches were somehow linked with political matters,” he said.

“We never opposed any action,” the provincial adviser noted. “There had been unrest in Karachi for a long time, and it was because of police and Rangers that peace was restored in the city.”

“However, these raids appeared to victimise political rivals,” Chandio added.

He said that his party had created a trusting environment and dispelled the perception of any disputes within institutions, but Friday’s raids undermined those efforts.

Senior journalist Mazhar Abbas said that the timing of the raids was critical. “It is a message that the operation in Karachi will continue without any hitches,” he said, adding that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah did not have any knowledge of the raid.

Senior journalist and host of program ‘Capital Talk’, Hamid Mir said that senior party leaders of the PPP were not in favour of Asif Ali Zardari’s return.

“They feared that a case would be filed against him. When Zardari did not listen to them, they asked Bilawal to convince him. Originally, Zardari wanted to return before Gen (r) Raheel Sharif resigned,” said Hamid Mir.

The senior journalist added that Zardari had by now come to know of the raids.

Earlier today, Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari returned to the country after having stayed in Dubai for 18 months.