THE imam of a Bradford mosque has been arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of carrying out a murder committed nearly 14 years ago.
Syed Sibtain Kazmi, 57, who lives in Bradford, was held by Pakistani police this morning, reportedly after he attempted to fly home from Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad.
His arrest is understood to relate to the murder of Maulana Azam Tariq, the chief of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba group, in 2003.
Kazmi, a Shia Muslim, leads worship at the Anjuman e Haideria mosque, a former children’s hospital in St Mary’s Road, Manningham.
He was born in Pakistan, and is said to make regular return visits to his home country.
Naz Shah, the Labour Parliamentary candidate for Bradford West, was in contact with the Chief Minister in Pakistan today to try to get more details of his arrest.
She said she was told Kazmi had been arrested on suspicion of “historic murder” and was being held on remand for five days.
She told the Telegraph & Argus she would be in close contact with the country’s Home Secretary about any updates in the case.
Pakistani media reported that the country’s Federal Investigation Agency had sent the team to the airport after learning Kazmi was due to leave the country on a Qatar Airline flight to Manchester via Doha.
He was apprehended and handed over to the police.
Maulana Azam Tariq was shot dead, along with four other passengers of his vehicle, near Islamabad in October 2003.
He was then a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan.
As well as his work in the Anjuman e Haideria mosque, Kazmi speaks across the UK and internationally.
After Samia Shahid, 28, of Bradford, was the victim of an alleged honour killing last year, Kazmi, who had helped with her divorce from her first husband and blessed her second marriage, revealed he had received death threats.
He was also one of the faith leaders who attended a vigil in City Park in March this year as a response to the Westminster terror attack which cost the lives of five innocent people, including a police officer.
At the vigil Kazmi told a Telegraph & Argus reporter: “We feel strongly that terrorists are against all humanity.
“We stand here, regardless of race or faith, as an act of solidarity against all acts of terrorism.”
Tonight, a Foreign Office spokesman said it had no record of Kazmi’s arrest and had not received any requests for consular assistance.
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