ISLAMABAD - The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) yesterday registered a case against MQM chief Altaf Hussain and six other accused, including a senior party leader, for allegedly conspiring, abetting and killing Dr Imran Farooq in London.

A senior official of FIA told The Nation that Counter-Terrorism Wing (CTW) had registered a case against Altaf Hussain, two MQM leaders, Muhammad Anwar and Iftikhar Hussain, Moazzam Ali Khan, Khalid Shamim, Kashif Khan Kamran and Syed Mohsin Ali for allegedly murdering senior MQM leader and ex-parliamentarian Dr Imran Farooq in September 2010 in London

The government’s decision to register an FIR against the MQM chief and other MQM leaders on the day of local body elections in Karachi where the party enjoyed majority triggered criticism on the social media as some critics called it pre-poll rigging.

“CTW has registered the case on charges of conspiracy, assistance, abetment and ultimate assassination of Dr Imran Farooq under sections 302, 34, 109, 120 B of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA),” the FIA officer said. He further said the government of Pakistan, through FIA’s CTW, was the complainant in the case.

The FIA officer said the three accused into the custody of the agency during joint investigations of Scotland Yard and FIA had confessed to killing of Dr Imran Farooq and had named all the accused nominated in the FIR, including Altaf Hussain, in this conspiracy and abetment. The FIR has been registered on the basis of the joint investigations.

The registration of a case in Pakistan against an incident that occurred out of the country five years back is very surprising for the common man.

However, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, a Supreme Court lawyer, told The Nation the government of Pakistan could register the case against any of its citizens under the law even if he had committed any crime out of Pakistan. The FIR was registered on tangible evidence and the government might have enough proof if it was the complainant in that case, he added. “However, it will always be difficult for the government to show much evidence during the trial or prosecution,” he viewed. He added the government might seek some record from the UK authorities and can ask for the extradition of the accused.

Barrister Gohar who is an expert lawyer in criminal cases said the government of Pakistan could become an aggrieved (complainant) party in the case on the basis of that FIR during its trial in London. He said the accused and the victims both were Pakistanis and only the occurrence of the crime was outside Pakistan.

MQM chief Altaf Hussain, one of the accused in the case, is a dual national of the UK and Pakistan and is already facing investigations into this murder before Scotland Yard. An official of the Ministry of Interior said that Hussain could be extradited to Pakistan in this case but the investigations into the case would ascertain all these aspects.

The British High Commission in Pakistan could not be contacted to have their point of view despite repeated attempts.

Dr Imran Farooq , one of the founding members of MQM, was murdered in London outside his residence under mysterious circumstances in 2010 and London Metropolitan Police have been investigating the case since then.

Muhammad Anwar and Iftikhar Hussain, nominated in the FIR, are related to MQM and are residing in the UK. Scotland Yard has already investigated them there in Dr Imran Farooq case. Anwar is a senior MQM leader and Iftikhar Hussain is reportedly stated to be the nephew of the MQM chief.

Moazzam Ali Khan, Syed Mohsin Ali and Khalid Shamim, the three other accused nominated in the FIR, are on a 90-day remand with the FIA. A team of Scotland Yard and FIA had already investigated them in the last some months following a decision of the government to give their access to the former. The other accused Kashif Khan Kamran has been missing from the scene for the last many years.

Mohsin, Khalid and Kashif had allegedly travelled to London before the murder of Dr Imran while Mozzam Ali is stated to be their alleged facilitator and a local businessman of Karachi.

Frontier Corps (FC) had claimed to have arrested Mohsin Ali and Khalid Shamim from the Chaman area of Balochistan near Pak-Afghan border in June this year while Rangers arrested Moazzam Ali Khan from the Azizabad area of Karachi in April 2015.

Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan said on last Tuesday that the federal government had decided to register Dr Imran Farooq’s murder case in Pakistan.

Earlier, the Ministry of Interior had given powers to FIA’s CTW to register and investigate cases of terrorism under Protection of Pakistan Act (PoPA).