Karachi: Man arrested in Oct 18 case released, detained
KARACHI: Qari Saifullah, the only person arrested for the Oct 18 attack on Benazir Bhutto’s homecoming rally, was released on bail Wednesday and then detained for alleged links to an army group in a 1995 conspiracy case against her.
Qari Saifullah Akhtar Arain was released by investigator DSP Muhammad Nawaz Ranjha after the submission of a report before the Anti-Terrorism Courts (ATCs) Karachi division Administrative Judge Justice Khawaja Naveed Ahmed. The IO, in his report under section 497 (II) of Cr.P.C., informed the AJ that he found no evidence connecting the accused with the crime and, therefore, let him off on personal surety.
Saifullah’s lawyer, Hashmat Habib, said that he was not been able to get in touch with him since his release. Habib said he was on his way to Karachi from Islamabad when he heard news of the discharge ordered by the ATC. “I don’t think Saifullah was present at court but his reports were produced,” said Habib. “I contacted the police who told me that Saifullah has been released. However, Saifullah has not contact me or his family yet. I think the police might have shifted him to an unknown place.”
Reliable sources in the Sindh home department told Daily Times on the condition of anonymity that he was taken into custody again on the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO). During interrogations, investigators came to reportedly believe that Saifullah supported one of the groups led by Maj Gen Zaheerul Islam, who was arrested in 1995 for a conspiracy against Bhutto.
Karachi police chief Niaz Ahmed Siddiqui confirmed the detention and said the orders were issued by the Sindh home department. “I cannot say anything about the involvement of Saifullah with the army officers in the conspiracy against BB,” he said.
His lawyer said that Saifullah’s family includes a wife and three young sons. The sons are transporters and have their business in Dubai while Saifullah was engaged in running some madrassa in Pakistan. Saifullah and his sons are al Hafiz-ul-Quran. Saifullah also participated in the war against Russia in Afghanistan, until he left it halfway to follow his current profession. A press conference will be held at the SHC on Thursday (today) in this regard, added the lawyer.