Former leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Saleem Shahzad was presented before Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), today. He has been sent to jail on judicial remand till February 18.

The accused reached court amidst high security protocol for the purpose of case hearing against him. A lawyer for Saleem Shahzad presented the court his medical reports. He maintained that the politician was seeking treatment for cancer, and he should be released. He said he was suffering from kidney and liver cancer and he had no idea he would be arrested. "Look at (PPP politician) Sharjeel Memon, out on bail," he said.

Earlier on Monday, the leader was taken into custody upon his arrival at Karachi airport from Dubai. Investigation officials said that 23 cases had been registered against the former MQM politician who was arrested from the airport on Monday, as he returned to Karachi after ending a self-imposed exile. Of them three cases have been registered in Joharabad, while three cases have been registered in various police stations of Karachi. The politician has been acquitted in four cases, while 14 cases were closed in accordance with the NRO.

Saleem Shahzad was accused of his escape from the country on fake identity card in 1990s. He was also declared as proclaimed offender in Dr Asim case.  Investigation officials told a local news channel that they were trying to reopen cases for Saleem Shahzad , however they were facing difficulties as the case files had gone missing.

Ex-MQM leader, addressing journalists had expressed satisfaction over the judicial system in Pakistan and stated that he will face all the charges against him.  In 2015, the senior politician had expressed his desire to relinquish politics in a bid to utilise his experience in some other area.

Shahzad was suspended from the MQM a few years ago and since then he had not taken part in the party politics. He, however, regularly attended the party events in its London Secretariat. The former MQM leader had previously spoken out against a ‘mafia’ in the party working against its chief Altaf Hussain.

Chief of Pakistan Sarzameen Party (PSP), Mustafa Kamal, said that Saleem Shahzad has no link with PSP. He said there is still a scary voice behind MQM policy-making. 

Meanwhile, MQM Pakistan and London have also denied any connection with Saleem Shahzad .