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Police officer-turned-novelist, Omar Shahid returns to work as SSP

KARACHI: After remaining on leave for five years, Omar Shahid Hamid — son of Shahid Hamid, slain managing director of the then Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) — was appointed senior superintendent of police (SSP) intelligence at the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on Monday.

Hamid became a police officer soon after his father’s assassination in 1997, and served the Karachi police for 13 years before going on a sabbatical in 2011. The sabbatical was reportedly a result of threats he received from the Taliban after he took part in multiple operations as part of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) with the late CID SSP Aslam Khan, better known as Chaudhry Aslam.

While on leave, Hamid wrote two books. The Prisoner is based on the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl in 2002, with on-point references to the inner workings of the Karachi police and, at times, obvious references to Karachi’s police officers and politicians.

The second, The Spinner’s Tale, is based on militancy and its roots within Pakistani society.

It was on the day of the signing of his first book on Jan 9, 2014, that Chaudhry Aslam was assassinated as a result of an IED blast in Karachi.

Last year, in the beginning of May, he appeared in front of a judicial magistrate along with his mother to identify the suspect involved in the murder of his father. A worker of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Saulat Ali Khan, known as Saulat Mirza, was sentenced for the murder case of Hamid’s father by the antiterrorism court back in 1999.

Mirza was hanged 19 years later in May 2015.

Hamid has remained vocal in his stance against the MQM through his tweets on Twitter. His appointment comes at a time when the MQM is facing the brunt of its leader’s Aug 22 speech in which he made anti-Pakistan remarks.

Speaking about his appointment, Hamid said there was nothing extraordinary about it. “As soon as I reported back from leave, I was contacted by the Inspector General Police, Sindh, A.D. Khwaja to resume duty as the SSP Intelligence at CTD,” he said.

He said that his role is to mainly analyse and look over the kind of threats the city and the province faces. “There are obvious variations in militancy especially in a city as vast as Karachi. The trends in militancy are changing which is too early for me to speak about. It is, however, going to be a lot different than what I have seen before.”

Published in Dawn September 20th, 2016

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