ANP leader seeks asylum in US amid fears of arrest in Karachi

Bashir Jna, former General Sec ANP Sindh
Bashir Jna, former General Sec ANP Sindh

MODESTO, CALIFORNIA: Fearing arrest at home for his alleged part in ‘crime economy’ of the city, the Awami National Party’s former Sindh general Secretary Bashir Jan has applied for asylum in the United States of America, highly credible sources told The Frontier Post.

Sidelined by the party leadership as part of its ‘operation cleanup’ in Sindh, Bashir Jan arrived in the US before Eid-ul-Fitar but sensing a possible arrest in the ongoing action by Rangers, he applied for asylum, a source based in Berkley, California told this scribe.

“The former ANP leader has cited several attacks on his life during different periods of time as ground for obtaining asylum along with other nine immediate members of his family” source said.

Despite several contacts, Bashir Jan didn’t respond to confirm or refute the news but contrary to his earlier claims of going back to Pakistan on August 20, the ANP leader is still in California State of America, sources told. On Wednesday, Sep 2, 2015 Bashir Jan updated his Facebook status, telling his son, Aimal Khan, has started his school at Martin Luther King Middle School Berkeley, California.

After developing differences with Shahi Syed, he also mulled over to change sides and join either PTI or PPP but later his friend and former MPA Aman Mehsud joined PPP and Jan opted to wait for better time and offer.

Another ANP source told that Bashir Jan had changed his mind after some mutual channels assured him to remove his differences with Shahi Syed but after crackdown against different politicians in Karachi, he opted not to go back and settled down here. It was after this final decision that Jan winded up his business in Dubai and decided to settle in the US permanently.

Several MQM and PPP leaders, including Qadir Patel and Nisar Morai, have left the country due to fear of possible arrest but Bashir Jan was the only known ANP leader who escaped the country. Some activists have left Karachi for other parts of the country.

Luckily, Bashir Jan had several attacks on him, mostly attributed to or claimed by Taliban, making his case for asylum strong one. On August 16, 2012 unknown attacker’s hurled crackers or hand-grenades at his car before opening fire on him in Site area of Karachi. He remained safe in the attack.

On April 26, 2 at least 11 people were killed and 40 others including children injured after a blast went off near the election office of Bashir Jan in Karachi. Jan luckily survived in attack in Mominabad area of the city. Taliban claimed responsibility of the blast.

These attacks have been cited as basis for his permanent stay in the US, source said.

Aimal Khan Son of Bashir Jan -  first day at King School of Berkeley ( September 02, 2015, Photo source Facebook page of Bashir Jan)
Aimal Khan Son of Bashir Jan – first day at King School of Berkeley ( September 02, 2015, Photo source Facebook page of Bashir Jan)

The 51 years on Bashir Jan was born in Guratai,Barikot, Swat but later moved to Karachi. He got his education from Karachi University in 2003 but continued his own business as shopkeeper of the unstitched clothes in Metroville.

Before joining the ANP, he was associated with the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party. He was appointed as Deputy General Secretary of ANP Sindh in 2004.

He sustained the post till 2010 after which he was appointed as General Secretary but after he developed differences with the incumbent Sindh Chief Senator Shahid Syed, he lost his seat to current General Secretary Younis Buneri.

Highly credible sources close to Shahi Syed told this scribe that Bashir Jan was sidelined by Sindh chief at the advice of some forcers who thought Bashir Jan’s character might land the whole party in trouble when law enforcement agencies would enter to the final phase of Karachi operation.

Started his commercial life as a small shop keeper, the accounts of Jan witnessed a sudden surge during the period when activists of ANP and its student wing, Pakhtun Student Federation (PSF) were found involved in extortion and land grabbing.

Highly credible sources in Karachi told that Jan was suspected for a murder in Karachi and the security agencies have already arrested some suspects in this connection.

Originally Published in The Frontier Post, Karachi