KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Wednesday announced the culprits involved in Safoora tragedy, Sabeen’s murder and other high-profile killings in the city had been arrested.

Addressing a press conference at the chief minister house, Qaim Ali Shah said four members of a terror outfit, Tahir Hussain Minhas alias Sain Nazir, Saad Aziz, Muhammad Azhar Ishrat alias Majid and Hafiz Nasir alias Yasir, were arrested by police from different areas of Karachi.

The chief minister, while giving details of their terrorist activities, said the accused had confessed to killings of Ismailis at Safoora Chowrangi, murder of Sabeen Mahmud and attacks on US national Debra Lobo, naval and Rangers officials.  He further said the same group, comprising 10 to 15 members, was also involved in attacks and target killings of Bohri community, and target killings and bomb attack on police officials in the city.

Responding to a query regarding his early claims of RAW involvement in the attack on Ismaili community’s bus, the chief minister said the statement was an initial one before the culprits’ arrest. He, however, said signs of some RAW activities had been found while interference from Balochistan had also been witnessed in the province. Some reports quoted the chief minister as denying that he had named RAW in the Safoora attack.

The police report that Qaim Ali Shah presented to media persons stated that Tahir Hussain, the mastermind of the Safoora tragedy, had been involved in militancy since 1998 and had also met al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri.

Saad Aziz who completed his BBA from Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, was the mastermind of Sabeen Mahmud murder and was also financing terrorist activities in the city.

Muhammad Azhar Ishrat, electronic engineer from Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, is an expert bomb maker.

Hafiz Nasir who completed his masters in Islamic Studies from Karachi University was the preacher of terrorist activities and had brainwashed several people for carrying out ‘jihadi’ activities.

Qaim Ali Shah said the police were under strict criticism from the media after Safoora tragedy despite arrest of the accused involved in various high-profile attacks in the past. He claimed the way the police carried out investigations and arrested the culprits of Safoora tragedy in a short period reflected their efficient working.

He said the Sindh police had also arrested the culprits of Shikarpur blast and killing of JUI-F leader Khalid Soomro.

He said Counterterrorism DIG Arif Hanif and investigation officer SP Raja Umar Khattab had played an active part throughout the investigations. He also announced to give Rs 50 million to the Sindh IGP for distribution among the police officers who nabbed this group. Shah said he was also considering giving promotions to the two officers for their active action against militants.

The chief minister said for more investigations a joint interrogation team, also including Rangers and other security agencies officials, would be formed that would submit a report in one week. The chief minister was flanked by Sindh Information and Local Bodies Minister Sharjeel Memon, Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, IGP Ghulam Haider Jamali and others.