ISLAMABAD: One of the main accused in 2003 broad day light killing of firebrand Sunni cleric has been arrested in a major breakthrough of the investigations into the killing after 13 long years.
Maulana Azam Tariq was gunned down on 6 October 2003 on the outskirts of Islamabad while he was returning from Jhang to attend the ongoing National Assembly session. He was then a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and was heading Millat e Islamia Pakistan an off shoot of SSP. Azam Tariq himself was known to be a fire brand sectarian speaker and avowed critic of shia community.
The wanted suspect, Sibtain Kazmi, was arrested from Islamabad airport while he was attempting to flee to Manchester, UK, via Doha on Qatar Airline flight no. QR633, on a UK resident card.
The sources claim that the Intelligence Bureau (IB), couple of days ago had already provided the picture of the accused to FIA officials with the details of his case. The sources claim that the IB had informed the FIA that wanted Sibtain Kazmi may change his picture or appearance to deceive the security and immigration officials at the airport. The accused was actually living in London and had recently traveled to Pakistan which IB had the information and they got the catch.
Kazmi a proclaimed offender in case FIR No 119/2003 of PS Golra Islamabad carried Rs1 million head money. However, his name was not included in the Exit Control List.
The FIA official M.S on duty were at their toes already so the moment he entered in the premises of the immigration. An immigration officer M.S (name of the officer is withheld due to the security reasons) checked his passport and matched the picture already provided to the FIA after which he directed him to sit down. Later on his mobile phone and luggage was also confiscated and Golra Police was informed to receive their accused.
The sources claim that a Golra Police officer along his team reached the Airport in a jiffy and got his formal arrest and shifted him to the Criminal Investigation Agency (CIA) office located in sector I.9. Shortly after which the accused was also taken to the Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad from where Police got a five day physical remand of the accused.
The sources claim that the police and intelligence officials have formally started interrogation of Sibtain Kazmi to retrieve the actual story of Azam Tariq’s killing following which a wave of sectarian violence was also witnessed by the country.
Kazmi’s name is among those more than two dozen most wanted militants who had been involved in different terrorists and sectarian killings.
Sibtain Kazmi’s name also appeared in the first edition of the Islamabad Police Criminal Investigation Department’s (CTD) Red Book in 2009 containing the names of the wanted terrorists. As per record he was the first most wanted among the Shia wanted militants.
According to the Red Book, Kazmi was an activist of Imamia Student Organisation. He used to hail from Sarghoda, but later on shifted to Johar Town Lahore. After the killing of Azam Tariq he had subsequently fled to London, according to the red book.
The sources claim that the arrest of Kazmi would help not only identifying the actual killers of Azam Tariq who himself was a fierce sectarian speaker but would also help identifying any foreign hand involved in the sectarian violence in the country, if any.