Pak Army chief calls for inquiry into MQM member’s custodial death

Islamabad : Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif on Wednesday, ordered an inquiry into the death of Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) member Aftab Ahmed’s death in Rangers’ custody.

General Raheel has called for an inquiry into the death of Mutahidda Qaumi Movement leader Farooq Sattar’s aide and said justice must be done, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement said, reports the Express Tribune.

The Rangers, meanwhile, have suspended officials suspected of involvement in Ahmed’s death.

“The services of Rangers officials allegedly involved in Aftab’s death have been suspended until further inquiry,” the statement said.

However, the number of officials suspended was not specified.

Meanwhile, a high-level investigation committee has been formed on the directions of Sindh DG Rangers to probe Aftab’s death.

The statement stated that the committee would be headed by a sector commander designate of Sindh Rangers and would ensure that the truth about the incident is brought to light.

Aftab died yesterday within 48 hours of his detention by the paramilitary force.

He was reportedly picked up from his residence on Sunday and presented in an anti-terrorism court on Monday.

While the Rangers said that Aftab died of cardiac arrest, the MQM allege that he was tortured during interrogation which led to his death.

Aftab, 42, working as Sattar’s coordinator since 2002 was detained by the Rangers in a raid in Karachi’s Federal B area. He was later shifted to the Mitha Ram Hostel, a declared sub-jail where the paramilitary force interrogates suspected criminals and terrorists.

The Rangers never disclosed his arrest until he was produced before an anti-terrorism court on Monday.

The court had allowed the Rangers to detain the suspect in 90-day preventive custody.

He was reportedly brought to the state-run Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre at 8 a.m. yesterday and died shortly afterwards.

Dr. Seemin Jamali, who heads the JPMC’s Emergency Ward, said that Aftab had no blood pressure or pulse on arrival and was declared dead at 8:20 a.m. after cardiopulmonary resuscitation failed to revive him.

Dr. Kaleem Shaikh, Additional Police Surgeon, was among a four-member team which carried out the post-mortem. He, however, said the cause of death has been reserved until chemical and histopathology reports.

The final autopsy report will take more than a week.

The MQM have termed the death a murder and demanded an inquiry of the extrajudicial killing from the authorities. The party has also announced a countrywide day of mourning for today. (ANI)