KARACHI - A detained MQM activist has revealed about involvement of former party high-ups in around 120 targeted killings over political rivalry in the city, besides naming a Muttahida officebearer in Baldia factory fire in which around 250 people had lost their lives.

In a press release issued on Saturday, the Rangers spokesperson said that MQM worker Umair Siddiqui, who was presented in an Anti-Terrorism Court the same day, has confessed to his involvement in different cases of targeted killing and other crimes.

Umair was among dozens of Muttahida Qaumi Movement affiliates arrested on March 11 when Rangers conducted a raid at the party’s headquarters, Nine-Zero, in Azizabad. The suspect was turned over to the Rangers on physical remand for 90 days.

The press statement said Siddiqui during preliminary interrogation also revealed that a former Baldia Town’s sector in-charge of MQM, Rehman aka Bhola, along with his other companions had set on fire the Ali Enterprises garment factory in 2012 that killed at least 258 factory workers.

Rangers personnel had presented a report to the Sindh High Court in February this year which revealed that the MQM had set the factory ablaze. The information had been disclosed by suspect Muhammad Rizwan Qureshi, an alleged worker of the MQM, on June 22, 2013 during joint investigation of the factory inferno. The MQM had vociferously rejected party’s involvement in the massacre.

The paramilitary force further claimed that accused Umair Siddiqui had formed a 23-member target killers’ squad on the directives of former in-charge of MQM’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee (KTC), Hammad Siddiqui, which killed at least 120 people on political grounds.

The statement said that the team comprising MQM workers also killed MQM leader Amir Khan’s nephew Sabihullah (in 2011), former Pakistan Peoples Party senator Faisal Raza Abidi’s security guard Shahid Hussain and Rangers’ Lance Naik Shaukat. Another MQM worker Tahir alias Nadeem SP was also murdered by killers’ team.

The press release further claimed that the accused Umair Siddiqui also revealed that a former deputy convener of MQM’s coordination committee, Anis Qaimkhani, had presided over a meeting at Khursheed Begum Memorial Hall in 2008, which was attended by former KTC in-charge Hammad Siddiqui, all sector in-charges and joint sector in-charges of the party. During the meeting Qaimkhani allegedly directed to speed up targeted killings in the metropolis on ethnic basis.

The suspect further confessed that approximately 250-300 target killers reside, or are in hiding, in the neighborhoods surrounding the MQM headquarters.

Rangers in the statement added that the accused had also admitted his involvement in securing weapon deals for the MQM’s militant wing through a Quetta-based arms dealer. In one instance he confessed to buying 40 Kalashnikovs, 8 LMGs, one rocket-launcher, six G3s, five China rifles and three MGs.

The statement said that the accused informed that following the raids and operations by law enforcers in the city, all sector in-charges were instructed by the party to withdraw their excess weapons at the party headquarters, Nine-Zero. The weapons were transported to some other place from various locations through ambulance service.

In the 2013 elections, on the orders of Umair Siddiqui, 60-70 party workers in Gulistan-e-Johar submitted fake votes in favour of MQM candidate Faisal Subzwari at the polling stations which were situated in the Maymar sector, the press release stated.

For this purpose, a day before the elections, the presiding officers were called to the sector office and were made to agree to the fake votes, Siddiqui allegedly confessed. He added that in every polling station, 15-20 boxes full of fake ballots were given to the presiding officers.