ISLAMABAD/KARACHI - Rangers on Monday arrested a key suspect in Dr Imran Farooq murder case. Moazzam Ali Khan, nabbed from Karachi, is said to be a ‘facilitator’ of the two alleged killers of MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq , who was murdered in London.

Speaking in Islamabad after this significant development, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the main character in the mystery murder has been arrested and this case would be taken to its logical end. “The main accused, who facilitated the two persons (suspected of killing Dr Imran) in travelling to the UK, had been arrested with the joint operation of security and intelligence agencies,” he said.

Some people believe that the case can have serious repercussions for the Muttahida Qaumi Movement as it could involve some high profile figures of the party itself, and MQM circles believe the government is taking unusual interest in the case for political motives. But Nisar claimed that the government had no political motives behind this arrest and the matter was just about the killing of a Pakistani in London.

Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, the interior minister said that the accused would be produced before a court on Tuesday (today) and the federal government on the request of the provincial government would constitute a joint investigation team (JIT) in this regard within the next one or two days. “This case has international repercussions,” he said, without naming the accused.

According to interior ministry sources, the name of the accused the minister was referring to is Moazzam Ali Khan who was arrested along with his brother from Azizabad area of Karachi during a raid. Some unknown assailants had stabbed to death Dr Imran Farooq outside his house in London in 2010 under mysterious circumstance and the London metropolitan police – the Scotland Yard – has been investigating the case since then.

Rangers arrested Moazzam in a pre-dawn raid at his residence in Block 8 of FB Area in Azizabad, and later shifted him to an undisclosed location for interrogation. The news of Moazzam’s arrest was leaked and MQM disowned him even before his arrest was disclosed by the interior minister. Despite the clear indication of Nisar about his arrest, Rangers officials however remained tight-lipped.

“We have shared a lot of information with the British government in this case and vice versa and this is an important and basic development on this front with the input of security and intelligence agencies,” the interior minister said. The government is fully cooperating with the British authorities in this case, he added.

“The case of killing of Dr Imran Farooq had not only become a test case for the UK but also for Pakistan as rumours have been circulating in this connection,” Nisar said, adding that he had said this in Washington and London clearly that the government had no political motives behind this case. “The basic thing is that an innocent Pakistani had been killed in London and the purpose is to bring to book his killers,” he said.

“The main character wanted in the killing of Dr Imran Farooq facilitated the two persons (the killers) in issuance of their visas and travelling to London. Thousands of pounds were paid (by his firm) for their (study) courses there,” the minister said. He said that these two alleged killers were so poor that they even could not have come to Islamabad by air.

But Nisar refused to comment on a question whether the two persons, the alleged killers of Dr Farooq, were in the custody of security agencies or not. “No government official had ever said that they were under arrest,” he however said.

These two suspected killers, Mohsin Ali Syed and Kashif Khan, had been reportedly picked up from Karachi airport upon their return from London to Pakistan via Sri Lanka after committing the murder. However, they were never produced before a court of law and no security agency ever claimed that these two persons were under its detention.

Moazzam’s wife Sadia Bano on Monday filed a petition in the Sindh High Court (SHC), challenging his detention. She pleaded that her husband was doing a private job in Karachi and Rangers personnel raided their house and also took away Moazzam’s laptop and other belongings.

Sadia Bano alleged that the family members approached the Azizabad police station to seek information on the whereabouts of her husband but the SHO refused to give any clue. Later, similar requests were also made to the Rangers officers, who too did not give any information. In the plea, it was argued that the detention of the petitioner’s husband and the law enforcers’ failure to divulge any information on his whereabouts is a violation of the Article 18 of the Constitution.