Who has killed Imam?

mqm-manzar-imam

By Naimat Khan

It was afternoon of Wednesday, January 17, 2013. I along with journalist friends was having tea at the Karachi Press Club’s garden when a colleague from an international media outlet received a call. The person on phone was Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s spokesman, claiming that his organization had killed Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) lawmaker, Manzar Imam.

Imam, 43, was gunned down a while ago in Orangi area of the city from where he was elected to the provincial assembly of Sindh on MQM’s ticket.

“From when did you start killing people of Tableeghi Jamaat,” the reporter asked LeJ spokesman. “Le, me check,” the spokesman cutoff the phone line. Within minutes, he called the reporter back and said, “We haven’t killed him”.

The TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan was the second to claim responsibility for the attack.

Imam belonged to Deobandi school of thought and had been with Tableeghi Jamaat on preaching missions, his close friends tell.

There was no clue of the killers for more than eight months before the Rangers on September 23, 2015 announced to have arrested a suspect allegedly involved in the assassination.

The alleged killer was MQM man.

According to a statement issued by the Sindh Rangers the paramilitary force arrested the accused during a raid conducted in the Taiser Town area of Karachi.

The Rangers’ spokesperson claimed that the accused, identified as Muhammad Ashiq, was affiliated with the MQM and had confessed of killing MQM legislator and his guard, according to media reports.

The reports also claimed that besides being involved in the murder of MQM MPA, the accused also confessed to killing 12 members of rival political parties and dumping their bodies in different parts of the city using ambulances belonging to MQM’s charity wing Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation.

The statement further said the accused was produced before an anti-terrorism court, which placed him under 90-day preventive detention. He was never tried in the case.

Then some media reports, citing interviews with investigators, claimed that in August 2010, Imam had closely coordinated with law-enforcement agencies in arresting the LeJ militants involved in the assassination of another MQM MPA Raza Haider.

However, on September 22, 2016, a report in a private news channel claimed and even aired the voice of blindfolded MQM Ashfaq aka chief, in which he confessed that Manzar Imam had been murdered the behest of Asfar Hussain.

Another twist in the murder case came when the arrested LeJ militant on Friday claimed that Imam was killed by them.

“Saeed aka Kaloo was directly involved in the murder of Manzar Imam,” Raja Umar Khattab, the cop having busted group of AQIS, LeJ and Sipah-e-Sahaba militants, told The Frontier Post. Khattab says it’s the handiwork of LeJ.

It’s not the first time that several claims have been made regarding involvement of different groups in a single case. In past TTP militants were eliminated for their alleged involvement in Parween Rehman murder case whereas men associated with MQM were also arrested in connection of murder of the female Director of the Orangi Pilot Project. Later the case turned out to be the handiwork of Raheem Swati, an activist of Awami National Party.

“The multiple claims by law enforcers, sometime made in hast with aims, spoil the cases, depriving the victims of justice,” said Saqib Sagheer, a Karachi based reporter covering crime and militancy.

Published in The Frontier Post 

Karachi’s top bomb-maker is dead

Counterterrorism Department deals major blow to Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent 

tft-12-p-1-f

By: Naimat Khan

On April 13, the Counter Terrorism Department of Karachi killed two members of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) in a gunfight in the Gadap Town locality, and seized weapons, explosives and equipment from a bomb factory that they unearthed.  Abdul Saboor and Muhammad Mujtaba died during the encounter, while Muhammad Murtaza was arrested.

During interrogation, Murtaza made some startling revelations.

“About 14 years ago, some militants from the Nazimabad neighborhood of Karachi parted ways with their organization Harkatul Mujahideen following a dispute. They renamed themselves Harkatul Mujahideen al Alami (HUMA), and orchestrated attacks on security forces, diplomatic missions and other targets of global importance,” according to Raja Umar Khattab, a senior cop fighting militancy and terrorism for more than 15 years.

In 2004, HUMA militants rented a shop in an apartment building in the city, and parked a van packed with 400 kilograms of explosives outside the premises to target the convoy of then president Gen Pervez Musharraf. The bomb couldn’t go off because of signal jammers, and the convoy passed safely.

It was the first group to use toy bombs

“The failed plan went unnoticed. The same van was later used in an attack on the American consulate in Karachi,” Raja Umar Khattab told me. The same year, the group orchestrated a bomb attack on a concert by the Indian vocalist Sonu Nigam in the port city. Then, they tried to target Americans staying at the airport hotel in a rocket attack, but the rockets went wayward and fell in Shah Faisal Colony.

HUMA was the first group to come up with toy bombs. The first such device was seized after an encounter with the police in the Kalakot area of the city.

By the end of 2008, most of the members of the group had been apprehended, and their plan to break Karachi’s central prison had been thwarted.

But because of weak prosecution and a lack of evidence, many of these militants were freed. Most of them fled to Afghanistan, where the group’s first chief Muhammad Imran, also known as Imran Bhai, was killed in a US drone strike.

Kamran Atif, the chief of the group’s Karachi chapter, was arrested in 2006 and served a life sentence.

In 2014, the militants associated with HUMA joined the AQIS en masse and took over its Pakistan branch. Their first emir is identified as Zarar, and also known by the names Naseem Bhai, Hanif Bhai and Ayub Bhai. He is stationed in Afghanistan, from where he directs the organization’s Pakistani and Bangladeshi chapters. “HUMA is the face of AQIS in Pakistan,” said Raja Umar Khattab.

Recent acts of terrorism in Karachi linked to the group include the murder of Dr Shakeel Auj and Urdu Blogger Aneeqa Naz, police say.

The AQIS Pakistan has three major wings, investigations have revealed.

One group, responsible for preaching, brainwashing and recruitment, consists of young people who have never been arrested and live normal lives at their homes in Karachi. They are hard to catch, police say, but stopping them is vital for eliminating the terrorist organization.

A second wing participates in militant activity. Most of its members are locals of Karachi, and people of Bengali and Burmese descent who have been born in the city.

The third wing consists solely of experts in manufacturing and planting bombs. Among its key members were a man identified as Hashim (nicknamed Babu) and another militant identified as Muhammad Mujtaba (also known as Rehan). The two men had arrived in Karachi as explosives experts for the group. Hashim, who had 14 years of experience in bombs and explosives, especially car bombs, was killed in a gunfight with police in April last year. Mujtaba – who had put together the bomb manufacturing setup in Gadap town and supplied explosive devices to one Abdus Salam Sindhi of the Liaquatabad neighborhood – was killed in the April 13 encounter.

In January 2016, the group resumed its activities using low-intensity bombs, referred to as crackers. Law enforcement agencies began to notice similarities between various blasts, and investigations led them to the two men killed on April 13.

The AQIS is a distinct organization, separate from another Al Qaeda group in Karachi, and the group of young militants in Karachi who are inspired by ISIS, according to Raja Umar Khattab.

An independent Al Qaeda group led by Umar Jalal began its own journey about the time AQIS was formed. A third IS-inspired group of youth, which attacked American professor Debra Lobo, killed human rights activists Sabeen Mahmud, and carried out the Safoora bus shooting, is a separate entity.

The AQIS is directed by Al Qaeda’s central leadership from Afghanistan’s Bramcha area, according to police. But heightened security at the border has made it very difficult, if not impossible, for the network in Karachi to communicate with the Bramcha leadership, Raja Umar Khattab said. “They are now using memory cards, USB flash drives, and unsent draft emails for passing on messages to the network in Karachi,” the arrested man told the investigators. Police believes the killing of Mujtaba is a major breakthrough, but analysts say it may not be enough to eliminate the group.

“To counter transitional militants, such as those involved with the AQIS, the government should form a serious counterterrorism strategy,” says Zia Ur Rehman, a Karachi based author and security analyst. “Identifying and distinguishing such militants is a proper intelligence-gathering exercise, which need strong collaboration among all law enforcement and intelligence agencies.”

For decades, groups like Harkatul Mujahideen have been allowed to change their names and reconstitute themselves, without any reprisal from the government, experts say, and that is where the problem lies.

“As they reconstitute, they look for new friends and allies. Al Qaeda and IS are the easiest choices in today’s plethora of militant groups,” says Khalid Muhammad, the director general of Islamabad-based think tank CommandEleven.

He says weak prosecution is another problem. Tahir Mihnas, the prime suspect of the Safoora carnage, and almost all the current leaders of AQIS including its Pakistani chief, were arrested in the past but have come out of jails.

“A report issued by the US State Department a few years ago discussed this exact issue – the release of hardcore terrorists from Pakistani jails,” says Khalid Muhammad. The report stated that Pakistan’s judiciary had released three out of four terrorism suspects that were brought to courts. “The reasons included loss of evidence, intimidation of witnesses, and fear of violence against the judge and his family.”

Zia Ur Rehman says it is hard to predict if military courts will solve these problems. “Only time will tell.”

 Published in The Friday Times 

Rangers’ luncheon for police offers ‘trust building’ in menu 

1028694-rangers-1452967943-456-640x480.jpg

KARACHI: Saturday was a good day for the dwellers of seaside metropolis when chiefs of two law enforcement agencies – The Rangers and Police – met at luncheon along with their officials.

The Rangers’ luncheon for police – concluded with permit for police to investigate suspects in Rangers’ custody – would be an ordinary event had the past relationship of both law enforcement agencies not publically known.

From Rangers raid of Mominabad police station and both offices Counter Terrorism Departments in garden and civil lines to their complaints against each others in apex committee meetings and the open expression of mistrust in courts, the Rangers, police relationship could never be termed good.

However, both police officials and independent analysts now believe that granting of permission to police to interrogate suspects in rangers’ custody will produce good results as police have good experience in translating proofs into better prosecution.

“That’s step towards very close coordination,” Feroz Shah, Deputy Inspector General of Police, West Zone, who was one of the invitees, said in his short comment.

However, Kashif Farooqi, a Karachi based crime reporter and analyst, says that SOPs of such investigations, which are still to be decided, will show the productivity of such facility for police.

Farooqi informs that Police are already part of the JITs, formed for almost all suspects who have been given into the 90-days preventative detention of Rangers.

“The luncheon and then accepting police’s request are itself good gestures from the Rangers head, which will certainly evade the mistrust we have witnessed in the last few years”, Farooqi opines.

The luncheon from Director General of Sindh Rangers, Major General Bilal Akber, was attended by Karachi Police Chief, Additional IG Mushtaq Mehar, Deputy Inspector General’s of Karachi police and other senior officials of both law enforcement agencies.

Addressing the officers here at Rangers’ headquarters, DG Rangers said that the sacrifices of police force in operation against terrorists can never be forgotten.

During the meeting Karachi police Chief, Mushtaq Meher, requested Rangers’ DG to give police the permission to interrogate the suspects who are given into the 90-days detention of Rangers by courts. DG Rangers accepted the request by granting permission.

According to reports, chiefs of both law enforcement agencies also agreed on speeding up operation against the criminals. They also agreed to monitors the activities of raw agents more rigorously.

It is pertinent to recall that Amir Khan, an MQM leader arrested in the Nine Zero raid last year, was granted bail because of what a judge called “weak prosecution”. The Rangers had detained him for 90 days, but could find solid evidence against him.

According to reports submitted in the Apex Committee meeting, 80 percent of those challaned in the court by the Rangers had either been freed by the courts or were out on bails.

According to security analysts, the 90-day detentions of suspects by Rangers do not always translate to strong interrogation, investigation or prosecution. “The new development will certainly overcome the lacunas of both the forces,” they believe.

While Rangers are important in dealing with all sort of criminals free of political and other pressures, the police’s expertise of prosecution in combine with Rangers’ efforts will produced good results.

Published in The Frontier Post

New sheriff in town?

logo

Are the Rangers doing a better job than the police in Karachi?

Naimat Khan

 



New sheriff in town?

 


Before the recent law-enforcement operation in Karachi had begun, I met a police officer who had been relieved from a key post because of political pressure. He told me off the record that there had been no developments in the case of the assassination of journalist Wali Khan Babar because of politics.

Months later, the Rangers arrest a key suspect from the pre-dawn raid on the MQM headquarters. Faisal, alias Mota, had been convicted and sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in absentia. Many believed the police could not have carried out such a raid, because they would not have the government’s permission. Faisal is now in prison.

But Amir Khan, another MQM leader arrested in the same raid, is out on bail, because of what a judge called “weak prosecution”. The Rangers had detained him for 90 days, but could find solid evidence against him.

But for many who praise such raids for subjecting the powerful to the law are not concerned with conviction rates. They credit the Rangers for restoring peace in the city, but not the police.

“You just can’t compare the two forces,” said Khurram Sher Zaman, a PTI lawmaker from Sindh. “Around 11,000 people had been killed in Karachi in six years, before the Rangers were granted special powers.” He said police was loyal to politicians, but the Rangers did not succumb to political pressures.

Atiq Mir – the president of Karachi Tajir Ittehad who led a siege of Sindh Assembly after they passed a resolution last month placing curbs on Rangers’ powers – insists only the paramilitary force deserves credit for the restoration of peace in Karachi.

“The police have been made obedient to political leaders systemically,” according to Zahid Askari, a spokesman for Jamaat-e-Islami. “A large number of political workers were inducted into the police service, affecting its performance negatively.”

The ruling PPP and its former coalition partner MQM have reservations about specific actions against their men, but publically, they too agree with the popular opinion.

“You can’t compare the two forces”

“We fully appreciate the role of Rangers, but the role of police is equally important in restoring peace in the city,” said A Rasheed Channa, a spokesman for Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah. He said effective action by the police was a result of the provincial government’s capacity building measures. “We have provided them the best training, increased their salaries, and provided them with good infrastructure.”

According to a Rangers spokesman, they paramilitary force has conducted 2,410 operations since January 1, 2015, in which 4,074 suspects were apprehended. Of them, 2,198 suspects – including 887 suspected terrorists, 268 suspected assassins, 97 extortion suspects and 49 suspects of abduction for ransom – were handed over to the police. The Rangers were also involved in 69 gunfights with suspects, in which 152 suspected terrorists and criminals were killed, a report says. Twelve Rangers personnel died in the encounters and 20 were injured.

At least 67 policemen died in the line of duty in 2015. In 2014, the number was much higher, at 132.

Karachi police says it has arrested 12,235 suspected criminals and terrorists across the province in 2015. Of them, 453 were associated with Al Qaeda and Taliban, police says. Another 194 such suspects were “neutralized” in gunfights, said a police report. It also claims killing 201 suspect target killers in such encounters. Another 95 suspected assassins.

The number of murders in the city was recorded at 2,032 – a significant decrease compared with the 3,628 last year. There were only give ‘acts of terrorism’ in 2015 says the police report, compared with 22 in 2014.

A number of police officers I spoke to think the police is not appreciated. The West district of Karachi – where four industrial zones had become Taliban strongholds – are now peaceful, the police says.

On April 13, police found an explosives factory and killed five suspected Al Qaeda militants, including the suspected mastermind of the attacks on a Rangers van at the Qalandria Chowrangi. The arrest of Mehfoozullah Bhalu – made by police – proved vital in decreasing crime in the city’s hotspot, they say.

“At least 32 policemen sacrificed their lives in gunfights that killed 181 hardened terrorists, mostly associated with TTP and sectarian organizations and involved in murder and extortion,” said Feroz Shah, the DIG of the West district.

Two most important cases – Perveen Rehman murder case and Dr Shakil Auj Case – were also solved by police, another police officer said. Police arrested most of the suspects in the Safoora bus shooting, and unearthed a terrorist network previously associated with Al Qaeda and making efforts to form an alliance with the Islamic State. Raja Umar Khattab – who had been working on the group for years – also exposed a large network of women supporting and planning terrorism. Police also claim credit for arresting the suspected assassins of human rights activist Sabeen Mehmud, PTI leader Zehra Shahid, and American professor Debra Lobo, as well as the perpetrators of terrorist attacks on the members of the Bohri community, police, and Rangers.

Arrests are not the only yardsticks security experts use. “According to reports submitted in the Apex Committee meeting, 80 percent of those challaned in the court by the Rangers have either been freed by the courts or are out on bails,” according to Noman Rafique Khan, president of the Crime Reporters Association (CRA). According to Khan, the 90-day detentions of suspects by Rangers do not always translate to strong interrogation, investigation or prosecution.

He says the two law enforcement agencies should not be compared because they have different jobs. When the Karachi operation began, the Rangers were primarily given the task to deal with kidnapping, murder, extortion and terrorism cases, whereas police were assigned routine duty, such as street crime and other small crimes.

“Although they have both made some progress, they have not fully achieved their goals,” according to Khan.  “For example, the police report says abductions for ransom have decreased from 59 to one, but it doesn’t tell us that they have been replaced by short-term kidnappings.”

Karachi lies on fault lines of various kinds – political, ethnic and sectarian, analysts say. While Rangers are important in dealing with some of these conflicts, the police has the expertise to deal with others. The two forces will have to work together to restore peace in Karachi.

The writer is a journalist based in Karachi

Email: undisclosedtruth@gmail.com

Twitter: @NKMalazai

Burden of proof

How will the PPP respond to corruption allegations in Karachi?

 tft-19-p-1-d

An anti-terrorism court on Monday granted bail to Aamir Khan – an MQM leader picked up by Rangers in the predawn raid at the party’s headquarters in Karachi on March 11, along with 26 wanted suspects. According to the court, it was “due to faulty investigation into the allegations against him”.

Before he was handed over to police on June 4, Aamir Khan remained in the custody of the Rangers for 85 days. The Rangers can detain an individual for up to 90 days under the Protection of Pakistan Act of 2014.

Last week, the federal government led by the PML-N extended a similar power to the FIA. A day later, there were reports that the agency raided the house of Ali Hasan Zardari, a close relative of Asif Ali Zardari, in Ghulam Haider Shah Colony in Nawabshah, and seized seven ambulances that were given to the district administration to assist flood victims. It was a joint operation by NAB Sindh and the FIA. The ambulances were being used as passenger vans, said the reports.

tft-21-p-1-d

The ambulances were being used as passenger vans

Amid criticism that the law-enforcement operation in Karachi was targeting the MQM and the PPP, Rangers and NAB have expanded their operations. “Some senior officers of security and intelligence agencies have also been picked up for their role in the crime economy,” says Imtiaz Khan Faran, a veteran journalist who covers political and security issues.

On June 23, the Rangers issued ‘criminal profiles’ of eight workers of Sunni Tehreek – a largely Urdu speaking Barelvi group – detained during a midnight raid on at their central secretariat in Karachi on June 17.

According to Maj Sabtain – the spokesman of the Rangers – a total of 11 men were arrested during the raid, of which eight are wanted for murder, and the rest are accused of serious offenses, including extortion and street crimes.

But unlike the raid on MQM headquarters Nine Zero – where a central leader of the party was detained for sheltering criminals – Sunni Tehreek leaders Sarwat Ejaz Qadri and Shahid Ghori were allowed to go after “brief interrogation”.

tft-21-p-1-c

NAB too is now probing cases involving leaders of PML-Q and PML-F, the latter a coalition partner in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s federal government. According to reports, the bureau has questioned Kamran Tessori, a central leader of the PML-F, and former Sindh minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim, who is now part of the PML-N.

Imtiaz Khan Faran is skeptical. Many politicians and bureaucrats will get plea bargains, he says. Some are relatives of NAB officials.

But NAB’s recent action against former military officers, especially Brig Amjad, brother of former army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, dispels that notion.

“Over 2,000 corruption inquiries are pending in the Sindh region for the last fifteen years. Islamabad has directed the regional office to complete them in weeks,” said a NAB official, asking not to be named because he is not allowed to speak to reporters.

After Asif Zardari’s recent tirade against the army backfired, the PPP has now devised a counter-strategy, analysts say, which includes fighting NAB in the courts. They will be encouraged by the release of Aamir Khan.

On June 16, Sindh High Court granted bail to Syed Ali Mardan Shah, the provincial population welfare minister, who is facing a NAB inquiry for misuse of power and embezzlement of public funds. Former minister of education Pir Mazharul Haq, information secretary Zulfiqar Shahlwani, and Mansoor Rajput have also secured pre-arrest bails.

Shams Keerio – a local journalist who has been covering the Sindh government for two decades –

says the PPP has decided to ask Zamir Ghumro, Mardan Shah’s counsel, to help its leaders as an independent lawyer. Ghumro is known to be a critic of the PPP.

Rangers can detain an individual for up to 90 days

On June 18, NAB arrested Sehwan Sharif town municipal officer Sajawal Mumtaz Zardari, and three town officers – Zahoor Ahmed Shahani, Rehmatullah Mamon and Engineer Idrees on charges of corruption. The next day, a court handed them over to NAB for another 14 days, on a remand. The men were reported to be close to the PPP.

Also on June 18, Rangers detained Fishermen Cooperative Society vice president Sultan Qamar Siddiqui. He was produced in a court on June 19, where the Rangers said he would be detained for 90 days. According to unverified reports in the media, he told interrogators that he carried out extortion on behalf of the PPP.

tft-21-p-1-e

Reports on June 19 also said the FIA had stopped Zardari’s brother-in-law and Sindh education secretary Dr Fazlullah Pechuho from leaving the country. The same evening, Syed Owais Muzaffar, a close aide of the former president, was stopped at Karachi airport and questioned for 36 minutes before being allowed to go to London via Dubai.

Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur also left for Dubai earlier this month. Speculation had just begun in the media before Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who had accompanied his father to Dubai, returned to Karachi on June 26. Insiders say the former president will also return soon.

In an unexpected move, Sindh Local Governments Minister Sharjeel Memon suspended 37 town municipal officers on June 30, on charges of corruption. He had issued show-cause notices to 109 TMOs in September last year, asking them to provide audit details of their funds. Thirty-seven of them did not respond. Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has ordered corruption cases against them.

The move signals that while the party is ready to battle it out with law-enforcement agencies in court, it realizes it needs to show resolve against corruption.

The writer is a freelance journalist

Email: undisclosedtruth@gmail.com

Twitter: @NKMalazai

Published in The Friday Times

Efforts on to make young JSQM Chief follow Altaf Model

Sanan Khan

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Party leaders and international players are persuading Sanan Khan Qureshi, the inexperienced and new leader of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz-Bashir Qureshi Group to settle abroad on the pattern of MQM’s Altaf Hussain apparently in order to give boast to party’s separatist designs at international level, sources said.

According to well-placed sources, the new chairman of JSQM-BQG is going to be settled in Britain or most likely in US where the sister of later Bashir Qureshi is being resided.

Sanan2

“The party leadership believes that Sanan’s life is also under threat in the country. Party leaders have discussed the issue with organizers of Sindh World Congress and Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) in Britain and have sought their assistance in this regards” sources said.

However, some leaders of JSQM-BQG, including Mahaser, General Secretary (JSQM-BQG) are against the idea of going abroad and view their party chairman should follow the example of late GM Syed who did not leave the country despite several life threats.

Sources said that after the death of Bashir Khan Qureshi and subsequent killing of his brother Maqsood Qureshi the senior leadership of JSQM BQG are worried about their leadership and they fear Sanan Khan Qureshi would be the next target. “Sanan Qureshi is new and inexperienced face in the nationalist politics. He may not be able to handle the matter from abroad but may be able to highlight their cause from abroad more effectively with the help of organizations like WSC and SANA” source said.

According to sources the leadership of JSQM-BSQ is also evolving strategy to raise the issue of killing of party workers on international level. The notion for sending their party chairman abroad may be part of this strategy, the country’s intelligence agencies believe.

Dr Niaz Kalani being the senior and most active leader in the party, who is the main brain behind idea, would be able to look after the party affairs even remaining behind the scene when needed. However, the proposed move may end in power struggled and further division in the party, intelligence source opine.

The story was published here

Karachi Police wants bounty over TTP Chief, airport attackers

PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-VIDEO
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: After having completely failed in apprehending small criminals, the Karachi Police believes it will arrest the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Chief Mullah Fazlullah, former spokesperson TTP and current Daish leader Shahidullah Shah, suspects of airport attack, accused of assassination bid on former SHC CJ and other high profile terrorists by fixing reward money over their heads.

This has been made as basis for getting funds of Rs 1.44 billion in letter to the provincial homes department which has raised a summary for approval of Chief Minister Sindh.

Highly credible sources said the provincial secretary, who himself had been opposing to fix bounty over arresting criminal and had floated a summary for a ban over it, facilitated the smooth raising of this summary after influential person in the Sindh Government pressurized him.

The rewards money along the high profile terrorists and militants will be fixed on 221 accused which also include the Lyari gangsters and workers of political parties including Muttahida Qaumi Movement, sources said. A high rank former police officer when reminded of previous deliberations over removing the head money he agreed that it will encourage the trend of fake encounters and further corrupt police force.

While speaking on the condition of anonymity due to his past high rank position in Karachi police, the officer admitted that all over the world the reward money would be given to the informers only however the Sindh and Karachi police have been claimed million of rupees for encounters, most of which would later turn out to be fake.

The Karachi police while going on the same lines wrote a letter to secretary interior Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi on 15 October 2014 wherein he was requested to fix bounty over 221 absconders in the most wanted list of the police. The letter from Karachi police Chief Ghulam Qadir Thebo reads if the Sindh home office placed head money over the 221 absconders, it will be easy for police to apprehend criminals due to flow of information.

It has also been accepted in the letter that police officers show efficiency for apprehending the criminals who have bounty over their heads.

Sources in home department of Sindh said the secretary home Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi has prepared a summary in the light of recommendations by Karachi police chief with instructions to his subordinate to dispatch the same for CM’s approval.

According to the summary a bounty of Rs 2 million each has been fixed on TTP Chief Mullah Fazlullah and former spokesman Shahidullah Shahid. Other prominent absconders include the accused of attack on former Chief Justice Sindh High Court Justice Maqbool Baqir, attackers of Karachi’s Jinnah International airport and target killers of political parties.

This development has occurred in a time when due to its misuse and conflicting claims by different LEAs have compelled the provincial home department to seriously consider stopping the head money it has been placing on terrorists, target killers and dacoits.

According to a previous summary floated by Sindh Home department and the fate of which is still unknown the greed for reward is leading to fake encounters, corrupting police officers and tarnishing their image besides declining their efficiency, this newspaper had reported.

A summary floated by Sindh Home Department for approval of provincial chief executive, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, revealed both Sindh Rangers and Sindh Police requested for the reward money of Rs1 million, the PPP-led Sindh Government had fixed on a hardened terrorist of LeJ.

According to the summary, a copy of which was acquired by This newspaper, Director General, Headquarters Pakistan Rangers Sindh requested for payment of reward money, of 1,000,000 (one million) to Rangers personnel as they apprehended a most wanted terrorist, Qari Abdul Hai Alias Asadullah S/o Ghulam Ali for his involvement in terrorists activities of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Sindh and Punjab.

However, there came a twist in the story when the Sindh police also requested for head money on the same accused, claiming these were police guy who had actually accomplished the task. That summary stated a large number of cases are received from police department for announcement of reward money on the arrest and elimination of criminals.

“In some cases, it has been observed that the criminals involved in ordinary cases are being shown as hardened criminals and a reward money in million of rupees is proposed on their arrest and elimination” the home secretary, Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi, wrote to Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah.

Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi had also opined that the rewards money had become a vehicle of easy gain and a means of corruption for a large number of police officers. “The reward money culture creeping in Sindh police has gravely eroded efficiency, moral and image of police officers”, the summary reads.

However, sources claimed Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi, who had been opposing the placement of such bounties himself, prepared the summary of Rs 1.44 billion under pressure from influential in Sindh Government.

The story was originally published here