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Rangers arrest MQM Deputy Convener Shahid Pasha

Rangers arrest MQM Deputy Convener Shahid Pasha

KARACHI: Rangers personnel arrested Muttahida Qaumi Movement's (MQM) Rabita Committee (Coordination Committee) Deputy Convener Shahid Pasha in a raid early on Monday morning.

MQM spokesperson Wasay Jalil confirmed that Pasha was taken by Rangers into their custody during a raid at his apartment in the Gulistan-i-Jauhar area of the metropolis.

The arrest was condemned by MQM's leadership.

The arrested suspected was presented in an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) where the administrative judge was informed regarding Pasha's preventive detention for three months.

The court also ordered the formation of a joint investigation team to probe the charges against the MQM leader.

Pasha was made deputy convener of the coordination committee a year ago, and is believed to be an important figure in MQM's organisational structure and has held various posts with the political party.

The arrest comes after MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar, in an earlier press conference, had accused the Rangers of torturing and interrogating "40 under-trial prisoners" belonging to the MQM imprisoned at Karachi Central Jail, and "pressuring the workers to leave the party".

He alleged the workers were being forced to fill out a pro forma and told that they would be allotted every facility in prison, cases against them would be withdrawn and they would be released only if they changed their loyalty.

MQM lawmakers staged a walk out from the Sindh Assembly in protest against Pasha's arrest.

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday issued notices to DG Rangers Maj Gen Bilal Akbar, Inspector General of police Sindh A. D. Khawaja and Sindh home secretary seeking their comments on a petition filed by the family of Shahid Pasha.

The petition stated that law-enforcement agencies personnel picked Pasha up from his Karachi residence early on Monday. However, even after the passage of several hours, he could not be located nor was his arrest made public.

A two-judge bench of SHC after hearing the petition issued notices to Rangers and Sindh police, directing them to file their comments by April 11.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned.

With additional reporting by Tahir Siddiqui.

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