KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court in Karachi sent former federal minister Babar Ghauri, who was arrested on Monday night by police after landing in the city, into a seven-day physical remand of police.
“Accused Babar Ghauri is to be interrogated in the case,” the investigation officer told the court. “Ghauri was arrested in a case pertaining to provocative speech.”
Ghauri was presented before the court by the police. He was kept at the Super Highway Site Police Station.
The officer said the MQM leader was booked in the August 22, 2016 case related to the provocative speech. It was alleged that the former minister was seen clapping in video footages when MQM founder Altaf Hussain made provocative speeches and spoke about “two nation”.
“The suspect was residing in a foreign country, he was arrested upon returning his home country,” the officer said.
The court then approved the request and sent Ghauri into remand of police till July 12.
‘Here to meet my mother’
“My mother’s health is not good that’s why I have arrived in Pakistan. I came here to inquire after my mother,” Ghauri said in an informal conversation with reporters upon his arrival at the court.
The MQM leader was oblivious to the case. “The case was registered against me when I was not here,” he said, “police have brought me to the court for remand.”
Ghauri said that he would appear before the court and face trial.
Babar Ghauri arrested
Former federal minister Babar Ghauri was arrested by police on Monday night after he landed at the Karachi airport, ending a seven-year self-imposed exile from the US, sources said.
Babar, who had ports and a shipping portfolio now called maritime affairs, was shifted to an “unidentified location” by the security agencies.
The development comes after more than a week of the Sindh High Court granting Ghauri a two-week protective bail in a corruption reference, a money laundering and terror financing case.
The Federal Investigation Agency booked Ghauri, along with the MQM founder and other party leaders, in 2017 in a money laundering and terror financing case.
He through his attorney had sought a pre-arrest bail from the court. The court had granted the accused bail against a surety bond of Rs100,000 in each case and directed the MQM leader to surrender before the trial courts on or before July 5 (today).
Ghauri’s lawyer said his client wanted to come back and face the trial.
Another reference against Ghauri, pertaining to the alleged illegal regularisation of 940 employees of the Karachi Port Trust, which caused losses worth Rs2.8 billion to the national exchequer, was being heard at an accountability court. The National Accountability Bureau filed it.
According to the update by noon, Ghauri’s daughter on Tuesday moved the Sindh High Court against the arrest of her father. The court approved the application for an immediate hearing.
Babar Khan Ghauri profile
- Mutahidda Qaumi Movement member
- Senator from March 2009 to March 2015
- Sindh Assembly MPA1993-1996
- MNA 1997-1999 -Senator (Sindh) 2003