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Inquiry Ordered into MQM Activist’s Death

by Newsweek Pakistan
File Photo. Rizwan Tabassum—AFP

File Photo. Rizwan Tabassum—AFP

Aftab Hussain died in Rangers’ custody, with MQM accusing the paramilitary troops of torturing him to death.

Pakistan Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into the death of Aftab Ahmed, a Muttahida Qaumi Movement worker who died while in Rangers’ custody.

According to an ISPR statement, the Army chief has said “justice must be done” for Ahmed, who was an aide of MQM leader Dr. Farooq Sattar.

According to local media, the MQM worker was apprehended by Rangers personnel on May 1 and presented before an antiterrorism court on Monday. The antiterrorism court, per routine, allowed the Rangers to detain the suspect on 90-days preventive custody. He was dead by Tuesday morning.

Initially, Rangers claimed Ahmed had died of a heart attack, but the MQM have alleged that he was tortured during interrogation, leading to his death. Pictures of Ahmed’s body, widely circulated on social media, lend credence to this claim and show several bruises on his shoulders, feet, hands and wrists.

Rangers (Sindh) have announced that officials involved in Ahmed’s death have been suspended until further inquiry, without clarifying how many officials were involved or what specific crimes they were being investigated for.

The MQM has termed the death ‘murder’ and announced a nationwide day of mourning today. The party, in a statement issued from London, has alleged Ahmed was tortured to death and accused the Rangers of altering the postmortem report to avoid blame and punishment.

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