MULTAN -  The storm that was brewing for the last several years on the issue of custodianship of shrine of Bahauddin Zakariya between PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his younger brother Mureed Qureshi finally erupted on Thursday when the latter lashed out at Shah Mahmood, declaring him a killer who was patronising dacoits and thieves.

“Shah Mehmood is the killer of seven people. Whenever I demand my right, he gives me the gift of a dead body,” he alleged while delivering a public speech at the 787th Urs of Saint Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya. Shah Mehmood was also present on this occasion.

Mureed Qureshi parted his ways with elder brother Shah Mahmood in July 2012 when he quit PTI and re-joined PPPP in what many described as a surprising move. He had joined PTI in November 2011, following his elder brother.

Family insiders claimed the dispute between both the brothers as to who would be the custodian (Sajjada Nashin) of the shrine provoked Mureed Qureshi to take this step.

However, the PTI sources hinted that Mureed Qureshi quit the party because he failed to secure an assurance of ticket from the leadership for PP-219 in the general elections. He had lost to independent candidate Karam Dad Wahla in a by-election for the same seat vacated by Shah Mahmood in 2008.

Mureed Qureshi went on to level allegations against his elder brother and claimed he was threatened to stay away from Urs. “I was asked not to attend the Urs otherwise I’ll be murdered,” he further alleged. “He talks of accountability in the country. I ask him to present himself for accountability for his 20 years of custodianship of the shrine,” he said. He claimed he knew where Shah Mehmood got the land from. “I’ll hold you accountable for the period starting from the death of our father until today,” he declared.

Continuing his firebrand speech, Mureed Qureshi maintained Shah Mehmood exploited the name of the family for the sake of politics. “Now he has to decide whether he needs Imran or Iman (faith),” he added.

Mureed further said the family brought Shah Mahmood respect and gave him the title of Makhdoom, but the world called him seller of graves due to his deeds. “Keep in mind Iman (faith) will go with you in your grave and not Imran,” he maintained.

Mureed Qureshi warned Shah Mehmood to stop doing politics on the shrine. He said Shah Mehmood criticised Zardari during his Sindh visit. He questioned what feathers his leader (Imran Khan) posseses in his cap. He advised Shah Mehmood to lead prayers and funerals of the people instead of seeking vote for Imran Khan.

When contacted, Shah Mehmood did not receive the call. A text was also sent to him, but he did not reply.

Earlier, Mureed Qureshi repeatedly slapped a devotee and abused him. Some witnesses said the devotee had refused to hand over rosewater, brought to wash the shrine, to Mureed Qureshi which provoked him. Another devotee claimed the man who was thrashed by Mureed Qureshi did not leave path for the Makhdoom, which caused the incident.

Although the devotee kept on seeking apology from Mureed Qureshi with his hands folded in front of him, he continued slapping the man.