KARACHI: Two eyewitnesses on Saturday picked out Syed Asif Ali – said to be a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activist – as the alleged shooter during an identification parade before a judicial magistrate in a case pertaining to the killing of MQM worker Waqas Shah.
The parade and the position of the accused within the parade were rotated thrice, and he was picked out each time.
The accused will be presented in an ATC either today, or on Monday, as the time period of his physical remand has expired.
Rangers arrested Asif on June 25 during an intelligence-based operation in Sindh’s Shahdadpur area. He was sent on physical remand by a Karachi Anti-terrorism Court (ATC) until July 11 (today) in two cases – one pertaining to the killing of Waqas Shah, and the other for possession of an illegal weapon.
The murder weapon was recovered from a sewer. According to Rangers, Asif Ali had earlier confessed to disposing it off in a sewer near Yasinabad.
A Rangers press release following Asif’s arrest had stated:
Ali watched the footage of Rangers’ raid on MQM’s Nine Zero offices on various television channels and reached Nine Zero carrying a pistol along with his wife.
He then started “sloganeering to provoke the Rangers personnel” who were present during the protest that followed the raid, the release goes on to say.
The accused Ali then shot dead MQM office bearer Waqas Ali Shah, who stood behind him, when he saw an opportune moment. Ali and his associates then gathered media personnel near Shah’s body and started the propaganda that he was shot dead by Rangers, it adds.
Rangers claim Ali is “affiliated with a political party” and has been involved in illegal practices such as collecting extortion and facilitating the casting of fake votes during the 2013 general election.
On the day Rangers raided Nine Zero, MQM spokesperson Wasay Jalil had claimed that senior party office bearer, Waqas Ali Shah of the central information committee, was killed in straight fire by Rangers personnel around 7:45am.
MQM’s coordination committee acknowledged that Asif Ali was a party worker but termed the Rangers’ accusations against him “deplorable”, said a statement published on the party’s official website.
The party recognised Ali as a worker at MQM’s Gulistan-i-Jauhar sector and maintained that Shah was shot dead due to firing of Rangers personnel.
A heavy contingent of Rangers raided Nine Zero, the headquarters of MQM, in Karachi’s Azizabad neighbourhood before dawn on March 11, prompting a protest by party activists and a subsequent call for a day of “peaceful mourning” across the country.
A number of party workers, including member of MQM’s Rabita Committee Amir Khan, were detained during the raid. Rangers also claimed to have seized ammunition stolen from Nato containers during the search operation at Nine Zero.
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily