Tuesday, November 22, 2022

No evidence of murder plot against Imran Khan, Arshad Sharif: Tasnim Haider

Tasnim says he himself is evidence; assures to get Nawaz, Maryam, Butt arrested within 2-3 days

Tasneem Haider Shah speaking to the media in London. — Provided by the reporter
Tasneem Haider Shah speaking to the media in London. — Provided by the reporter 

  • Tasnim says he himself was the evidence.
  • He assures to get Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Nasir Butt arrested within 2-3 days. 
  • Claims Butt was in touch with Kenya businessmen Waqar and Ahmad.

LONDON: Syed Tasnim Haider Shah, who claimed that the assassination plot against PTI chief Imran Khan and senior journalist Arshad Sharif was made by the PML-N in London, has accepted he has no evidence of any kind to prove his claims and that Khan’s shooter has reached Kenya and belongings of Sharif have reached London too.

In an interview, Tasnim claimed that Sharif’s laptop, iPads and other gadgets have also reached London and that Waqar Ahmad and Khurram Ahmad were in touch with PML-N UK senior vice president Nasir Butt. He said Butt had told him all of this.

He claimed that as soon as he became aware of the alleged plot to kill Khan, he sent a message to Khan through British-Pakistani businessman Liaqat Mahmood (also known as Malik Liaquat), who sat with him at the press conference on October 29 that there was a plan to kill him. 

“Imran Khan replied that these people cannot do anything to him. He said that he had left it to Allah,” Tasnim said quoting Liaquat who is a close friend of Omar Sarfraz Cheema, the senior PTI leader and currently Punjab’s interior ministry adviser.

“Malik Liaquat spoke to an MPA or MNA who passed the threat alert to Imran Khan and then he responded, Malik Liaquat told me this,” said Tasnim, adding that Cheema stays at Liaquat's home when he visits London.

Tasnim claimed at the press conference that he has evidence that he has handed over to the police but during an interview with this publication denied having any evidence of the conspiracy and said he himself was the evidence.

“I have not given any evidence to the police. The police say you are the evidence. Police say you are the evidence and you are the most important person. Your evidence speaks. I assure you I will get Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Butt arrested within 2-3 days. Police say they don’t need evidence from me. They are saying I am being taken seriously," he said.

Pressed on what evidence he has, Tasnim said: “I have no evidence. No audio evidence. No WhatsApp chats. Nothing else. There is no record of my meetings with Butt.”

Liaquat runs a business in Slough called “William Fry – Steel Stock and Fabrication. Both Tasnim and Liaquat are registered at the same address on Unit 1, Iver Lane, Uxbridge. The other companies registered at the same address are Syon Homes (CRO) Limited and Syon Homes (PEGS) Limited.

Tasnim claimed that Butt was in touch with Waqar and Ahmad. 

“Butt says the killer of Arshad is hiding in Kenya. Butt told me Waqar and Khurram are our people, he said I know them. I don’t know anyone in Kenya, but Butt said he knows Waqar and Khurram well. When I told him about Arshad killing, he told me to be “khamosh” (quiet) and said Waqar and Khurram are our people. He said he will deal with Arshad murder case. And he did. He said you have to deal with Imran Khan similarly," he said. 

He claimed that Butt told him that Sharif’s laptop, iPhone, and other gadgets have reached London. 

“He told me he needed these three things. He says he has all these things. I believe Arshad’s laptops have reached London and are with Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan’s shooter has reached Kenya. One of the shooters of Imran Khan has reached Kenya. Butt told me. There is no WhatsApp chat record. I am not playing games."

Asked if he had informed the Kenya police about this, he said: “They are so corrupt that they will not take any action against Butt.”

He said he would make sure that Butt and Nawaz Sharif get 25 years each in jail for their role in the conspiracies. He confirmed that he had visited Scotland Yard with his solicitor Mahtab Aziz on Friday and gave a written application against Sharif and Butt and visited the police again on Saturday but the police have taken no action. 

“I have told Scotland Yard that Butt is linked with Waqar and Khurram. It’s for the UK police to take action. If no action is taken in the UK, I will take them to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.”

Tasnim said he spoke to the joint investigating team probing Sharif’s murder. “The JIT called me soon after my press conference. I spoke to them for half an hour and briefed them about UK law and what evidence means in this country. I told them what the law means in this country.”

He claimed that it was on July 8, when he met Sharif on Eid when the murder conspiracy was made. 

When told there were too many people around and he was seen not meeting Nawaz one-on-one that day at any stage, he changed his statement and said that the former premier and Butt met him in the evening after everyone had left and “they came back to meet me to make the murder conspiracy”.

“I accept that I agreed to provide shooters to them to attack Imran Khan and I promised I will arrange for shooters but later I told them I cannot. When Nawaz and Butt asked me to arrange for shooters in Kenya I told them I don’t have anyone there. Butt told me he will deal with Kenya and Arshad but I should deal with Imran Khan in Gujrat. They said Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi will be blamed for the killing. We discussed the murder plan verbally on Eid Day on July 8 when I met Nawaz,” said Tasnim.

When told that Nawaz had left the office publicly after meeting about 60 people inside on Eid, Tasnim claimed he had met the former again that day in the office when nobody was around. He initially said that the murder plan was made after Eid prayers inside the office but “that was a little bit”.

He said for the July 8 meeting: “I don’t have any evidence. I am the living evidence.” 

When asked why would Nawaz ask him for such a heinous crime, Tasnim replied: “Nawaz told me in that meeting he wants to become prime minister for the fourth time and I need to get rid of Arshad and Khan. He said Arshad has our videos which he is about to release. Both Butt and Sharif said that. We talked about the shooters on October 12 and September 20 in our meeting.”

When asked why he had agreed to become part of the murder plot by agreeing to provide the shooters to attack Khan, Tasnim said Butt forced him into this conspiracy. “They forced me and I agreed. I had no choice. I agreed to be involved in the murder conspiracy because I was made part of this conspiracy by Butt. I agreed that I will do my best.”

“I was under pressure. I have little children. I have told Scotland Yard I agreed to provide shooters in Gujranwala under pressure but in the end, I didn’t. I agreed to just let the matter end. I agreed that I will try.”

He claimed that when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif came to London he was invited to meet him and Maryam Nawaz but “I refused to meet them because I was busy”.

"It has taken a while for my zameer (conscience) to wake up. Butt used to tell me to be ‘khamosh' (stay quiet). Butt is also scared of Nawaz and wants to leave the party.”

Journalists asked Tasnim why he didn’t speak out when Arshad was killed or when he left Pakistan. He replied that he was under pressure. He then claimed that a “celebration party” was held in London after Khan was attacked. 

“I told Butt that Khan survived the attack and he told me to be 'khamosh' and not say anything. Butt told me the PML-N will throw a celebration party in a London hotel and I was invited too.”

Tasnim said he had no idea where the party was held. He blamed the Chaudhrys of Gujrat for registering fake murder cases against him. “I have not been in Pakistan since 2004 and it's because the Chaudhrys have lodged false cases against me.”

When asked why Elahi had made his cousin an adviser recently and why he congratulated Elahi and urged his family and friends to join the PTI’s long march, he said it was just to express his support for the Chaudhrys.

Tasnim claimed that he was introduced to PTI lawyer Aziz by businessman Liaquat. “My press conference was arranged by Malik Liaquat, he is close to Omar Sarfraz Cheema and he is the one who passed the message to Imran Khan. I found out that Mahtab Aziz is a PTI lawyer.”

He said that Cheema called and offered him protection and help after the press conference. Meanwhile, Butt announced on Monday that he was launching a defamation case against Tasnim. He lodged a case of harassment and fabrications against the latter at the Greenford police station.