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Suspect in Azam Tariq murder case arrested

RAWALPINDI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Thursday arrested a suspected murderer of former chief of the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) Maulana Azam Tariq at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA).

FIA Islamabad Director Mazhar Kakakhel told Dawn that the suspect had been declared as a proclaimed offender in the high-profile murder case. He was taken into custody by the FIA staff after he approached the immigration counter to board a Manchester-bound Qatar Airways flight .

`Though the murder suspect, Syed Mohammad Sibtain Kazmi, had not been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), he was arrested since he had been wanted by the police. The arrest was made on reliable information received by the FIA,` he said.

Another senior official said Sibtain Kazmi had settled in the UK and traveled to Pakistan twice. He got his Pakistani passport in 2012 despite being on the police wanted list.

After his arrest at the BBIA, the suspect was handed over to the Golra police who had already announced Rs1 million for anyone who could help the police to arrest him. The Golra police obtained a five-day physical remand of the suspect from the Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad and launched an investigation.

Maulana Azam Tariq was coming to Islamabad from Jhang along with his four bodyguards when he was gunned down by unidentified men at Kashmir Highway on October 6, 2003. His driver and three bodyguards were also killed in the attack.

Mohammad Asghar