KARACHI – A colleague of journalist Wali Babar escorted the ring leader of the gang of “target killers” who later murdered him, to the Geo office in Karachi, and helped him take snaps of Babar with his cell phone camera, disclosed the arrested accused of the case to a joint investigation team (JIT). The ring leader, Faisal alias Mota and Zeeshan, then distributed the snaps among a team of 26 target killers. The Geo employee also provided details of Babar’s residence and his work schedule to Mota, the suspects claimed as per a JIT report, copies of which are available with Pakistan Today.
While Mota – who has emerged as the protagonist in the case – remains at large, the five in custody also revealed the names of 25 others: Mohammad Ayub, Imran, Zeeshan alias Raja, Asif alias Waseem Commando, Liaquat, Nasir Iqbal, Fahmeed, Shahid alias Commando, Jawaid Sheikh, Chaand, Abrar, Dilshad, Khalid Saeed, Samee, Ayub Arain, Tahir Naveed alias Polka, Nasir alias Ganja, Raja Naseem, Shareef Mota, Azeem, Mohammad Shakeel, Munawar Iqbal, Faizan, Shahrukh and Jameel.
One of the men in custody, Syed Muhammad Ali Rizvi, told the JIT that Mota and Asif alias Waseem Commando received orders from South Africa-based Agha Murtaza some twelve days before the reporter was assassinated. Mota subsequently convened a meeting at his house on January 7, and divided different tasks among members of the group.
“Mota and other members of the group monitored Babar at three different points: the first was his residence in North Nazimabad Block-N (near Niaz Manzil). The second was a Peshawari ice-cream shop and Mateen Food near Babar’s house. The third was at the Ship Owner College,” the report quoted Ali as saying.
Another man in custody, Shahrukh, told the JIT that he was asked to follow and monitor Babar after he left work, since Mota and Zeeshan feared they would be recognised since they had visited the reporter’s office. Their job, he said, was to inform the other group members about the precise location of the reporter.
Shahrukh revealed that Mota instructed him not to follow Babar if he headed towards Tower from his office on I.I Chundrigar Road to visit Mardan House, the head office of the Awami National Party. “On January 13, a meeting was convened at a tea shack in Gulshan Azeem, where 12 to 14 members of our group were present,” Shahrukh said. “Mota constituted three teams at the meeting: the first was the operational team and moved in a car driven by Naveed Polka. Faisal, Ali Rizvi, Zeeshan, and Saeed alias Gandeeri were inside that car. The others were to travel on three motorcycles to provide cover to the operational team.
“Shahrukh called us to tell us about Babar’s location (as he was following the reporter from his office), and we followed Wali Babar from Liaquatabad. Naveed and Shakeel were trailing the car on motorcycle on one side, while Asad and Zeeshan were on the other side. “We were following Shahrukh and Shahrukh was following Babar’s car. At Liaquatabad Number 1, there was a traffic gridlock. Shahrukh pointed out Babar’s car to us, and Zeeshan fired seven to eight bullets to hit Babar from the right side. At the same time, the other group members also opened fire.
“After the incident, we fled the scene successfully. All of us subsequently reached Mota’s house at KBR Society, and submitted our weapons.”
The very next day of the incident, Mota told the group that the registration number of Polka’s vehicle Polka had been noted and the police are making raids to arrest them. He then provided a car to the killers, and asked them to immediately leave the city. Before they could leave for Hyderabad, however, they were arrested from Gulshan-e-Iqbal.
The news was published in Pakistan Today