SSP Malir Rao Anwar takes MQM leader Khawaja Izhar into custody

KARACHI: Police on Friday took Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan into custody hours after raiding and searching his residence.

Television footage showed Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Malir Rao Anwar at Izhar’s residence, taking the MQM leader into custody.

MQM leader Farooq Sattar speaks to journalists after Izhar's arrest. ─ DawnNews
MQM leader Farooq Sattar speaks to journalists after Izhar’s arrest. ─ DawnNews

The SSP was suspended by Chief Minister (CM) Sindh Murad Ali Shah after MQM leader Farooq Sattar alleged Anwar refused to show arrest warrants before taking Izhar into custody.

“They picked him up in broad daylight before our eyes,” Sattar said, sporting an arm sling after suffering injuries in a car accident along the Super Highway a few days earlier.

“They said the May 12 terrorists were hidden there,” Sattar said, “But there were no people hidden away at his [Khawaja Izharul Hassan’s] house.”

“His wife, his sister and his sister-in-law were at home. There were no lady searchers with the police team,” Sattar said.

“What agenda is being followed here?” Farooq Sattar asked, directly addressing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif, Corps Commander Karachi Naveed Mukhtar and the Sindh CM.

“According to our information Rao Anwar is a close friend of Asif Zardari,” Sattar alleged. “Should we consider that the arrest was made on the behest of Asif Zardari?”

“I strongly condemn this arrest,” Sattar said. “It is becoming clear the issue here is not whether the party is being run from London, or the statements that come from London. The issue is not anti-Pakistan statements,” Sattar claimed. “The issue is an enmity with the MQM and mohajirs,” he said.

Earlier in the day, police raided Izhar’s residence, after which the chief minister ordered suspension of the station house officer at a Sohrab Goth police station and sought a report from Inspector General Police Sindh A.D. Khawaja regarding the raid.

The MQM has been embroiled in crisis since party chief Altaf Hussain issued controversial anti-Pakistan statements. After the MQM chief’s furious speech, party workers stormed the offices of ARY News. That evening, MQM leaders Farooq Sattar, Khawaja Izhar and Amir Liaquat were kept in Rangers detention overnight.

After being released from detention, Sattar held a press conference distancing the party’s Pakistani leadership from the London offices and Altaf Hussain.

Former MQM leader and Pak Sarzameen Party chief Mustafa Kamal in a later press conference alleged Sattar “now takes guards everywhere with himself and goes and sleeps in a hotel after he is done with work. Who is he hiding from? The Taliban? He’s hiding from Altaf.”

Sattar later lambasted Kamal’s ‘confusing’ statements, saying the PSP chief on one hand alleged that the MQM is still collaborating with the London offices and Altaf Hussain, “But on the other hand, he’s saying I’m scared and afraid to sleep in my own home.”

Sattar recently suffered a road accident on the Superhighway while returning to Karachi from Hyderabad.

This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will strive to ensure timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources such as qualified authorities and our staff reporters.

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