KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA-elect, who defeated the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan’s (MQM-P) candidate in its Azizabad, Karachi, stronghold, is an ‘absconder’ in a 20-year-old smuggling case, court documents show.
Mohammed Aslam Khan claimed 75,702 votes to win NA-254 Karachi Central-II, where MQM has its headquarters. The party has dominated the city for the past three decades.
The MQM-P’s Shaikh Salahuddin was runner-up with 48,813 votes in the July 25 elections.
However, court documents show that 20 years ago Khan absconded after being accused in a smuggling case in which two of his accomplices were convicted.
The special court of customs and taxation in Karachi tried Mohammed Azam and Hameeduddin, two of Khan’s accomplices, in December 1998.
According to the court order seen by Arab News, Khan had absconded when the judge Mohammed Sadiq Leghari handed down the judgment against his accomplices.
Khan faced charges of smuggling electronic goods worth 28.57 million rupees ($226,000), the official document said.
Firdous Shamim Naqvi, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Karachi chief, dismissed the allegations and said that Khan had not been convicted.
“He has already submitted a statement that he has not been convicted in any case. There is no conviction against this man,” Naqvi told Arab News.
He said that Khan was “a man of really good repute.”
“He had been holding a famous food festival in Karachi’s Frere Hall for the past five years. They government has been dealing with him, many companies have been dealing with him,” Naqvi said. “He is no criminal.”