Pak dispatches letter requesting handover of Baldia fire suspect: UAE authorities


DUBAI: According to reports, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) police authorities have confirmed that they have received an official letter from Pakistan’s mission in Dubai requesting to hand over Hammad Siddiqui — the former chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) organising committee to them. However, the officials from Pakistani Consulate in Dubai neither denied nor accepted the development.

As per reports, efforts are underway by the Pakistani consulate in Dubai to complete legal requirements in the UAE in the matter. Once the legal procedures are complete, Siddiqui is likely to be brought back to Karachi.

Hammad Siddiqui, the prime suspect in the Baldia Town factory blaze and and former chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Karachi organising committee, was reportedly arrested in Dubai last week.

According to reports, local authorities had taken Siddiqui in custody, who is wanted for various heinous crimes, in an apartment located on Naif Road in Dubai’s Deira area.

At least 260 workers were killed and dozens injured when a fire swept through the garment factory in Karachi’s Baldia Town in September 2012.

The main accused of the Baldia factory tragedy, Abdul Rehman alias Bhola, had admitted before the investigation team that he had deliberately set ablaze the Ali Enterprises on the instructions of MQM leader Hammad Siddiqui.

Rehman said that Hammad had demanded Rs250 million as protection money and a share in the profits from the factory owners, and when they refused, Rehman, being the adhoc in-charge of MQM’s Baldia Town Sector, was tasked with committing arson at the factory with the use of chemicals.

Nevertheless, Karachi Police chief Mushtaq Maher expressed ignorance about the detention of Hammad Siddiqui, saying no institution contacted them in connection with the arrest of Hammad Siddiqui. He said if contacted after reviewing the case against the accused a team would be sent to Dubai.