A Pakistani police officer examines a bullet hole on the car of a Saudi consulate diplomat who was shot dead in Karachi, Pakistan, on May 16, 2011. (AP)

January 22, 2022

Pakistani police have asked for assistance from authorities in Tehran in apprehending the suspected killers of a Saudi diplomat, who are believed to be hiding in Iran, a counterterrorism official said on Friday.

Hassan Al-Qahtani, an employee of the Saudi consulate in Pakistan’s southern metropolis of Karachi, was killed in 2011, when gunmen opened fire on his car in the city’s Defense neighborhood.

In November last year, Pakistani authorities established a special team to investigate the murder after previous probes yielded no result. Counter Terrorism Department Deputy Inspector General Omar Shahid Hamid told Arab News at the time that the team was working on “fruitful leads” from the country’s intelligence.

Investigation materials seen by Arab News include a November request to Iranian authorities for assistance in the case against three suspects in Al-Qahtani’s murder — Ali Mustehsan, Raza Imam, and Syed Waqar Ahmed — over their “involvement in target killing and terrorism activities in Pakistan.”

“We have written for mutual legal assistance from Iran,” a Counter Terrorism Department told Arab News on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

“We believe that all three accused are absconding in Iran, and we cannot arrest them without the assistance of their law enforcement.”

A Pakistani paramilitary soldier stands guard outside the Saudi consulate in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi on May 11, 2011, following an attack. (AFP)

He said red notices for Mustehsan and Ahmed have already been issued, while police have called for the Federal Investigation Agency to initiate the process of issuing one for Imam as well.

Imam, alias Manzar, has a 1-million-rupee ($13,400) bounty on his head and has already been sentenced to death in two different cases, according to the Sindh police wanted list. He is a member of the banned Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan militant organization.

Mustehsan, alias Syed Waseem Ahsan Naqvi, belongs to the same organization.

Arab News

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Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.