Lawmaker terming Baldia intentional fire joins Mustafa Kamal’s PSP

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Salman Baloch, a lawmaker who last month declared the Baldia factory fire an deliberate act after he was expelled from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement- Pakistan (MQM-P) for his blackmailing of local government official, on Friday, joined Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) of Mustafa Kamal, who a day earlier had claimed that Baldia factory fire was mere an accident.

“The factory was not put on fire but it caught fire due to short-circuit”. Talking to the media before leaving for Hyderabad, the PSP Chief said that the factory was insured by Germany and no claim could be received due to the accident. “For this reason, the allegation of terrorism was leveled.”

Last month, Salman Mujahid Baloch, who on Friday joined PSP, requested Director General of the paramilitary Rangers to take action against those officials who were involved in Baldia factory Fire. While addressing a news conference held on Salman Mujahid’s defection, PSP chief Mustafa Kamal said people from MQM-P join their party every other day. This is the reason why MQM-P found it necessary to hold a public rally, Kamal added.

“A party has been formed by doing china-cutting on MQM founder’s party,” Kamal said about MQM-Pakistan. Salman Mujahid was elected to the National Assembly from NA-239 Kemari. He was expelled from MQM-P as his party membership was cancelled over violation of ethics, a party spokesperson had said.

Last month court was told that terrorism and target killing was carried out in the city as part of the policy of the Altaf-led Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

In the statement Bhola has confessed to several murders of the workers of ruling Pakistan People’s Party and Sunni Tehreek. All murders were executed in accordance to the party police and the orders would be passed on to killers by Hammad Siddiqui, head of the Karachi Tanzeemi committee.

Regarding the Baldia factory fire, Bhola said that Hammad Siddiqui had given him important task of collecting extortion money from Ali Enterprises. “For this special task, I was made sector In-charge of Baldia and asked to demand Rs250million extortion. On September 11, 2012 Zubair aka Charia told that arrangements have been made for setting the factory afire,” Bhola told.

“Zubair Charia reached the factory in a Suzuki high roof pickup alongwith his accomplices and after 20 minutes informed that the work has been done,” he further revealed, informing that Hammad Siddiqui was informed about the fire in advance after which he asked the MQM MNAs, MPAS and workers to reach the spot.

According to Bhola Rauf Siddiqui played a role in lodging FIR against the owners so that MQM may not be accused. After the hearing the court rejected the bail please of absconding accused. Atleast 258 people were killed in the worst factory fire of the country.

Few weeks earlier, former leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), SalmanMujahid Baloch, requested Director General of the paramilitary Rangers to take action against those officials who were involved in Baldia factory Fire.

According to Baloch, though the main culprits of the case have been arrested several officials who played part of facilitators in setting up the fire are not only at large but possessing important positions in the local governments.

Baloch, whose membership of the MQM-P was terminated after a video wherein he has threatened local government officials for not refueling his men, writes that at least four officers stationed in Baldia Town, namely Akmal Siddiqui, Mirza Asif Baig, Ameer Ali Qadri and Shahnawaz Bhatti facilitated the culprits in carrying out the crime.

“When the tragedy occurred, these officers were in contact with (MQM’s) Baldia Town Sector In-charge Rehman Bhola and used their position to help the accused in the case,” the letter says.

Nearly 250 people burnt to death after a horrific blaze erupted in the factory in September 2012. The government formed a JIT to thoroughly investigate the matter, which had later made startling revelations.

The JIT stated that then In-charge of MQM’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee (KTC) Hammad Siddiqui had ordered Rahman alias Bhola and others to set the factory on fire.

On November 28 during the hearing of the case, an anti-terrorism court grilled authorities for not being able to arrest Hammad Siddiqui and Rehman alias Bhola, the other two suspects of the case. The court had ordered the interior ministry to arrest fugitives with the help of Interpol.

Pakistani authorities have formally requested Dubai Police to hand over wanted terrorism suspect, Hammad Siddiqui, it emerged on Thursday.

According to reports, the Dubai police have taken Siddiqui to headquarters after receiving Pakistan’s request.

The Baldia Factory Fire accused was arrested by Interpol with the help of Pakistani intelligence agencies from an apartment in Dubai.

A special team sent to Dubai to arrest Hammad Siddiqui – the notorious Karachi Tanzeemi Committee Chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement –, credible sources informed the Frontier Post last week. “The former KTC chief has been arrested in Dubai by a special team,” an official told this scribe.

“Hammad will be brought back to Pakistan soon after which he will be presented before the ATC for physical remand,” the official added. The notorious terrorists belonging to Muttahida Qaumi Movement has ordered to kill hundreds of people besides issuing directives to set the Baldia factory afire, the official added.

Sources further told that if Siddiqui made revelations, many in the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and Pak Sarzameen party may land in trouble. Siddiqui had been enjoying close ties with PSP President Anees Qaimkhani and several leaders of the Dr Farooq Sattar led MQM-P.

Last in December, the Sindh government had constituted a Joint Interrogation Team (JIT) for interrogating Abdul Rehman alias Bhola – the prime accused of Baldia Factory Fire Case.

At least 258 poor laborers were burnt alive when allegedly men associated with Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) set ablaze the garment factory for non-payment for extortion money in 2012.

“On the recommendation of Inspector General of Police Sindh, a joint interrogation team (JIT) is herby constituted for the purpose of interrogation in respect of arrested accused Abdul Rehman alias Bhola s/o Abdul Sattar, arrested in case FIR No.343/2012 of police station Site-B,” a notification issued here on Thursday reads, further informing that SSP Investigation West-1 Akhter Farooq will head the JIT, also comprising representatives of ISI, 202 Survey (MI), IB Sindh, Pakistan Rangers, Special Branch and Counter Terrorism Department.

A day earlier, the police obtained physical remand of Rehman Bhola till December 19 from the ATC court. Bhola was produced before the ATC which granted the remand. On Tuesday Bhola was brought to Karachi from Bangkok here on Tuesday.

A two-member Federal Investigation Agency’s team had gone to Bangkok after Bangkok police and Interpol arrested former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Sector In-charge and main accused in the Baldia factory fire case.

According to the charge sheet of Baldia factory case, Abdul Rehman alias Bhola, alongwith other accused set a fire to garment factory after its owner refused to pay extortion to the chief of the MQM Tanzeemi Committee, Hammad Siddiqui. The incident, occurred on 11 September 2012, had taken lives of 258 innocent factory workers.

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