An eight-member high level investigation team has been interrogating Rizwan Habib Bangash over his alleged involvement in the killing of Ahmadi cardiologist Mehdi Ali Qamar. The unsolved murder is reopened after eight years.
Bangash was already on judicial remand in the killing of Wajiha Sawati. Swati had married Bangash after murder of her ex-husband Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar in 2014 at Rabwa, where he went to volunteer at an Ahmadi heart hospital from the US.
On February 18 a justice of the peace had granted his 10-day physical remand to the police for interrogation. The accused is kept at Police Station Saddar Chiniot instead of Chenab Nagar Police station for security reasons, a police source told Religion Observer. The source said the police is dealing with this matter very carefully as murders of two US nationals are involved and the US authorities are also concerned about the investigation.
Chiniot District Police Officer Muhammad Amir Khan Niazi has issued strict instructions to the investigation team not to share any information about the investigation with the media until the investigation is complete. Once the investigation is complete, the DPO would brief the media, the sources said.
The current remand of the accused would complete on Monday when the accused would be produced before the court for more remand.
The investigation team is headed by SP Investigation Chiniot with DSP Chenab Nagar, DSP City Chiniot, SHO Saddar Chiniot, SHO Chenab Nagar, Incharge CIA Chiniot, Incharge IT Chiniot, and investigation officer of the case being its members.
Bangash came into question on Dr Mehdi’s murder during his interrogation of the murder of Wajiha Sawati, who married him six months after the death of her ex-husband Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar.
Dr Mehdi was gunned down on May 26, 2014, and the reason for Dr Mehdi’s murder in the FIR was stated as hate motivation because of him being a member of the Ahmadiyya community.
A police officer said after the murder of Dr Mehdi, the police had requested the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya to give them access to Wajiha but she was deliberately kept away from the police. The FIR was registered on the complaint of Abdul Majeed Shakir, a security guard (Chaukidar) of the Ahmadi graveyard, and the case was not properly perused.
Dr Mehdi’s murder got huge media coverage in international and local media and was dubbed as religiously motivated.
The investigating team is keeping in view if Bangash and Wajiha both were involved in Mehdi’s murder. According to details, Wajiha was already in contact with Bangash whom she met in Dubai a few years before Mehdi’s murder. She had spent several months with Bangash during Mehdi’s life, a close relative of Wajiha told Religion Observer, adding that some notables of the family convinced her to join her family in the US.
Bangash had promised huge land, money and other property to Wajiha in return for marrying him.
According to the marriage certificate, a copy of which is available with Religion Observer, it was incumbent upon the groom to pay Rs2.5 million in cash and gold ornaments weighing 50 tolas (583 gram) as Mehar Moajjal (prompt dower) to the bride at the time of rukhsati (departure of the bride). He had promised to transfer the total share of his inherited property to her. In addition to that, he had vowed to gift her 32 acres of his land in Badin, Sindh. He had undertaken to give one kanal land in different two Khasras of district Hangu, a market with 40 shops in Hangu and Rs20,000 per month as pocket money. The groom was bound not to remarry during the life of Wajiha Farooq. At a corner of the Nikah Nama document, it was written that the groom would construct a petrol pump in the ownership of the bribe.
Dissolution of Marriage Suit
Six months before she travelled to Pakistan and went missing, Wajiha tried to end her marriage with Bangash. She acquired a Fatwa from Lal Masjid, Islamabad, on February 16, 2021, saying that she was a Sunni Muslim and her husband Rizwan had become an Ahmadi. In this way, she got her marriage declared void by Mufti Habib Salman of Darul Ifta Lal Masjid.
After acquiring the Fatwa, Wajiha filed a suit for the dissolution or end of her marriage in an Abbottabad family court on March 6, 2021, but she did not attach a copy of the Fatwa with the suit application. However, by June 21, Wajiha took back the case to end her marriage, saying that she had entered into a compromise with her husband. On the same day in the evening, however, she filed an FIR at Nawan Shehar police station against a man identified as Sayed Qamar Ali Shah and two of his sisters on allegations of rape and criminal intimidation.
The story given to the police and recorded in the FIR made it seem as if she had registered it under Rizwan’s influence. In the FIR, Wajiha and Rizwan are said to have married “around eight years” before the registration of the FIR, contrary to the fact that her first husband Dr Mehdi had died less than seven years before that date. Additionally, Wajiha says she has a seven-year-old son with Rizwan. Contrary to that, the son mentioned in the FIR was nine years old and his name is also misspelled in the FIR.