ISLAMABAD - The federal government has decided to reopen investigation into the murder of former KESC (Karachi Electric Supply Company) MD Shahid Hamid following revelations of MQM’s death-row convict Saulat Mirza against his party leadership in a confessional video.

It will, however, be a tough task for the federal government to reopen investigation into the murder case as the whole process will face a number of legal hitches.

The sources ware of the development in the Ministry of Interior said the government was weighing all its legal options to restart investigations into the murder of the former KESC managing director in the light of the statement of Saulat Mirza.

Saulat Mirza, in a videotape statement, had alleged that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain had given him orders to kill the KESC MD after he (Saulat Mirza) and his three other companions had been called at the residence MQM Senator Babar Ghauri. He also accused Altaf Hussain of giving him orders to kill MQM leader Azeem Tariq. Saulat Mirza had said they used to get such orders through MQM Senator Babar Ghauri.

The official sources in the Interior Ministry said the government had also sought opinion from the office of the attorney general in this regard. Moreover, Interior Secretary Shahid Khan also held a meeting with special assistant to the PM and senior lawyer, Ashtar Ausaf, in this connection.

President Mamnoon Hussain, on a summary moved by the Ministry of Interior, halted the execution of Saulat Mirza Wednesday night for 72 hours after different TV channels aired his statement. However, the official sources said the government would halt Saulat Mirza’ execution for 30 days at initial stage.

Advocate Gohar Ali, an associate of senior lawyer Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, said the government could not reopen the case of former KESC MD as the trial had been concluded, but it could reinitiate investigations on the basis of the statement of Saulat Mirza. “The murder will not be investigated, but conspiracy, if any, behind the case could be probed,” he opined. He further said the federal government could reopen investigations in the case as the matter related to anti-terrorism. He added the Sindh government could start these investigations. If the allegations were proven in the investigations, a fresh FIR (first information report) of the case could be launched, he said, explaining the legal position of the matter.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Thursday telephoned Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad and gave him an assurance that any step in the matter would be taken within the ambit of law and all legal formalities would be completed. The minister was talking to him with reference to Saulat Mirza’s statement and the Karachi law and order situation.

Ebad denies resignation rumours

INP adds: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan has denied media reports about his resignation.

Sources in the MQM said the governor “is going nowhere. He is working as usual.” Sources in the Governor House in Karachi said that everything is normal there. Meanwhile, in a statement, the Governor House said he never exercised his influence for providing any sort of relief or concession to any culprit or convict.

Responding to media reports, he said there was absolutely no truth in the allegations and Dr. Ishratul Ebad Khan has never compromised his personal integrity and the sacred responsibility reposed to him as governor of the province.

Being a ceremonial position, the governor was never in a position to provide any sort of cover to any criminal, culprit or convict no matter what their political affiliation may have been, reiterated the spokesman.

The reaction from the governor came in response to death row convict Saulat Mirza’s revelations against the MQM and PPP leadership through a video tape.