LONDON: Syed Tasnim Haider and his lawyer Mahtab Anwar Aziz have failed to provide any evidence to the fact-finding team (FFT) — probing the murder of journalist Arshad Sharif — to back up the claim of a murder conspiracy.
Haider, who claimed last month that the assassination plot against PTI chief Imran Khan was made by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in London, has also failed to provide evidence in this regard.
According to the team’s report, Haider was interviewed online by the FFT officers — Athar Waheed of FIA and Omar Shahid Hamid of IB — on November 30, but it’s understood that to date no evidence has been handed over by Aziz to Pakistani investigators.
When the fact-finding team asked Haider to produce evidence in support of his claim that on July 8 he met with PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, Nasir Butt, and six others to conspire to attack Khan and asked him to provide shooters, he added the name of Rashid Nasrullah (Nawaz Sharif’s secretary) and Ijaz Gull in the list too and said the conspiracy was made in Hasan Nawaz Sharif’s office.
The FFT writes in the report: “The FFT further asked to produce any concrete evidence to establish this accusation, he (Tasnim Haider) said he as a person is himself an evidence”.
Haider told the FFT that he was advised by Liaqat Malik (Liaqat Mahmood) to make public allegations against Butt and others. Malik was present at the first press conference with Haider.
Malik has confirmed that he is a close relative of General (retired) Irfan Ahmad Malik who was accused by Nawaz of threatening to “smash” Maryam Nawaz.
When asked why he was expected to arrange the shooters, Haider said “that once Nasir Butt had a dispute at a restaurant in Rawalpindi and he wanted to arrange firing” and “Tasneem provided three shooters”.
The FFT asked him to provide a copy of his notification as PML-N spokesman but Haider said his solicitor Aziz would provide the copy but it’s understood no copy has yet been provided to FFT.
Aziz didn’t respond to questions and PML-N has said Haider is lying and he never acted as a party spokesperson and never had any position.
Haider told the FFT that the plan to attack Arshad was made on September 20 when Butt asked him to provide shooters in Kenya to attack the journalist.
The FFT writes: “He further stated that Nasir Butt on 22nd October told that Arshad Sharif was in their grip and next day Arshad Sharif was killed in Kenya.”
Picking up holes in Haider’s claims, the FFT said that he was aware of the alleged planning to attack Khan and Arshad on July 8 but he went to the police in the UK on November 5 after making disclosures to the media.
He told the fact finders that he was named in a murder FIR of 17/18 people in Gujarat because he was opposed to the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).
Speaking to this correspondent, Mahmood said: “I can confirm that I asked Tasnim Haider to make these allegations of murder conspiracy against Nasir Butt, Nawaz Sharif and others.”
“I fully believe in this and I am personally accusing Nasir Butt of being involved in the murder conspiracy, and leading it. Everything Tasnim said about Nasir is true and that’s why I am going public. He was controlling Waqar and Khurram in Kenya.”
Last week, Scotland Yard said it has not launched any investigation into the allegations of murder conspiracy against Nawaz and Butt in nearly a month since the allegations were reported to the London police on multiple occasions.
Police sources have confirmed that no investigation has been launched over the murder conspiracy complaints involving the attack on Khan and the killing of journalist Arshad.
“At this time, no investigation has been launched,” said Scotland Yard’s Specialist Operations Command Unit in response to questions asked by Geo News.