MQM-L hitmen reveal about political killings to investigators in probe

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Observer Report

Members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London have been involved in the killings of Pak Sarzameen Party and MQM-Pakistan activists in Karachi, according to a joint investigation team report.

The team has been investigating an MQM-L worker who was arrested a few days ago. The suspect, Wahid Hussain, told the investigators that his group has been involved in attacks on PSP and MQM-P members in the city.

Hussain was arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department and the Rangers in a joint raid in Karachi’s Gulistan-e-Jauhar area on February 19.

He confessed to have been in contact with MQM-L’s notorious hitman Saleem Belgium since 1999, according to the JIT report. Hussain said that Belgium formed a death squad in 2018 to kill MQM-P and PSP workers to please the MQM founder Altaf Hussain.

Altaf Hussain, once the most powerful figure in urban Sindh, was sidelined from Pakistan politics after his speech on August 22, 2016, in which he chanted anti-Pakistan slogans and incited party workers to violence against media houses in Karachi.

Leaders from his party distanced themselves from him and announced that the party would now operate from Pakistan instead of London. The new faction was named the MQM-Pakistan.

Belgium’s team detonated a remote-controlled bomb at an MQM-P Mehfil-e-Milad event in Gulistan-e-Jauhar in 2018, the report quoted Hussain as saying.

The group killed two PSP workers in Karachi’s Gulbahar area a few days later and two MQM-P workers in New Karachi on January 13, 2018.

The suspect told investigators that he first met Belgium in 1999 and lived with him in the MQM’s Brussels office. Belgium went to London in 2005-2006 to meet the MQM founder, he said.

On his return from London, Belgium started extorting 25 euros from each party worker in Brussels, according to Hussain. Belgium also visited Karachi in 2008 and formed a separate team of target killers, he said.

Another MQM-L figure, Arif Ajakia, was helping people of different ethnicities get asylum in Belgium by declaring them MQM-L workers, according to the JIT report.

Ajakia sought 40 euros from every asylum or job-seeker before fleeing to London after being accused of €50,000 fraud, the report added.