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Monday, September 5, 2011

Investigators stumble on Hakim Saed murder clues

Lahore :A letter likely to point to the murderers of former Sindh governor Hakim Said has been allegedly recovered by Scotland Yard from the house of slain Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Imran Farooq.

Earlier, several MQM workers, allegedly involved in Said’s murder on October 17, 1998, were arrested and subsequently sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court. However, on May 31, 2001, the Sindh High Court acquitted all the accused in the case.
The letter, said to have been written to Dr Farooq by one Javed Turk, is part of a number of documents impounded from the MQM leader’s house as part of the ongoing investigations into his murder.
The investigating agency is translating the letter from Urdu to English for possible clues, sources said.
Said, who established Hamdard Foundation in 1948, was a well known scholar and philanthropist.
Farooq Murder probe
Translated documents, recovered from Farooq’s house, are helping Scotland Yard zero-in on possible suspects in Farooq’s murder case, sources said.
Scotland Yard has recently questioned on caution one person and also carried out house and office raids in the UK in connection with Dr Farooq’s murder. The person questioned on caution is believed to have links with an important Pakistan-based political party.
Knowledgeable sources have claimed that the MQM UK chapter has taken strong exception to the direction the murder case probe has taken and has even reportedly protested to the UK government.
Last month in one of his telephonic speeches from London, MQM chief Altaf Hussain had alleged that Pakistan’s civilian agencies – the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) – had provided ‘misleading information’ to Scotland Yard. Hussain implied that the information sent by the agencies had attempted to implicate the MQM in Dr Farooq’s murder.
However, both Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) and the High Commission in the UK have denied knowledge of any such communication between IB and FIA and the Scotland Yard. According to them, as per rules, all communication has to pass through the FO and Pakistan’s High Commission.
Scotland Yard is said to be treating the case of Dr Farooq’s murder with high priority and are trying their level best to apprehend the killers before September 16. Circumstantial evidence indicates that the suspected murderers have left the UK for, most probably, Colombo.
Three suspects arrested from Karachi Airport
According to sources, a non-civilian Pakistani intelligence agency had detained three suspects some months ago from Karachi in connected with Dr Farooq’s murder. They were handed over to the law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) last month, sources familiar with the matter revealed.
They said that contrary to media reports, the suspects – Khalid Shamim and two young boys – were not taken into custody on a tip from Scotland Yard.
Their purported arrest from the Karachi airport on a tip from Scotland Yard was allegedly leaked to the media by Interior Minister Rehman Malik. However, the British police were reportedly surprised themselves, when the news of the arrest and Scotland Yard’s ‘tip-off’ broke.
Furthermore, the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) installed at the Karachi airport did not support the arrest of Shamim and his accomplices.
The plot
Sources further revealed that Shamim was given the task of killing Dr Farooq in London. He sought help from a man named Hammad Siddiqi, who provided him with two boys as his accomplices. Shamim is said to have arranged student visas for the boys.
Upon their arrival in London, sources added, the boys were briefed about Dr Farooq’s routine by an unidentified man. Dr Farooq was murdered by the boys close to his house, sources said. Sources added that following the murder, the boys left for Colombo instead of coming back to Pakistan to mislead investigators.
After reaching Colombo, they allegedly contacted Shamim, who ordered them to come back to Pakistan. A non-civilian secret agency recorded all the conversations between Shamim and the boys. According to sources, Shamim had planned to murder the boys upon their arrival in Karachi.
The agencies detained the boys when they reached Karachi from Colombo and were made to listen to all the recordings of their conversations. According to sources, after listening to the recordings, they themselves confessed to the murder in the presence of the non-civilian intelligence agency personnel. Although Shamim presented the facts in a different context, statements of all three of the accused proved comparable at the end, sources familiar with the matter further revealed.
After thorough interrogation and extracting complete information, the inquiring agency’s provincial (Sindh) chapter sent a detailed report to its headquarters. After getting approval, the culprits were handed over to the LEAs last month for registration of criminal cases and prosecution.
Meanwhile, increased visits and meetings of UK officials, particularly intelligence liaison officers, police liaison officers, as well as undercover officials of UK intelligence agencies have been observed by the FIA headquarters in Islamabad during August.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2011.Source

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