Pakistan not a safe place to travel, says murder victim's brother

Pakistan not a safe place to travel, says murder victim's brother

Salman Sabir

Salman Sabir

Salman Sabir

Salman Sabir

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter

The brother of a murdered Bradford businessman has warned travellers to Pakistan they are not safe.

Police in Karachi have confirmed the body of Salman Sabir, 28, has been found in a drainage ditch on the outskirts of the capital.

A close friend of the dead man, who was to marry his fiancee in Bradford, is in custody after confessing to police that he had shot dead Salman to avoid paying back a £10,000 loan.

Sharfuddin Memon, of the Citizen-Police Liaison Committee in Karachi, who is leading the investigation, said today: "He is expected to be charged later today with murder and kidnap.

"Police found the body in an open drainage ditch near a bridge in the Orangi area, where the suspect said he had dumped it. The body has been identified as Salman Sabir and a pathological report says he was killed by a bullet to the head. We now intend to get the case to court as quickly as possible."

Mr Sabir's elder brother, Ubaid Mughal, of Heaton, Bradford, warned people travelling to their homeland on business to be careful.

"This country Pakistan is not safe for you," he said. "You can kill anyone. People have no fear of the law, no fear of the police. If you have money and you have a gun there, you can do anything."

Mr Mughal, 35, a freelance journalist, said his brother's funeral was likely to take place tomorrow in Pakistan, but he would not be attending.

He said: "I will be staying in Bradford. My father in Pakistan has warned me not to go to that country because these people will kill me. I have been told there are others with this man who are dangerous. I have to look after myself."

Mr Mughal said high-profile Bradford businessmen and a child from the city had previously been abducted in Pakistan and he urged "silent" kidnap victims to speak out.

They were freed only when a large ransom was paid - £50,000 in the case of the young boy.

Mr Sabir went missing on April 21 when he failed to contact his driver after a business meeting in Karachi.

A close friend and business associate in the city was arrested on Monday night and police said he had confessed to the murder.

Mr Mughal said victims' families usually suffered in silence. "They do not want friends and neighbours in Bradford to know they have been forced to hand over large sums of money," he said.

"They fear people will ask how they were able to lay their hands on such an amount of cash."

Mr Sabir, a clothing importer, had bought a house in Bradford and planned to live in the city after his marriage to sales assistant Noreen Akhtar, 27.

Mr Sabir's other brother, Amir Aziz, 36, of Heaton, is in Karachi.

Mr Mughal said that, last month, five people were kidnapped in Karachi and only one had been released, after a ransom was paid.

Mr Mughal said: "A young child from Bradford who was visiting Pakistan was kidnapped and recovered after a payment of the equivalent of £50,000.

"The relative of a prominent Bradford businessman was kidnapped in Karachi and returned home after payment of a big ransom," he said.

"I don't know why people do not come forward against this injustice and why they don't tell the British media.

"I believe the silent suffering of our community is a reason these crimes are increasing.

"I want to pass the message to Pakistani officials and to Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf that, if you will not stop these kind of crimes, nobody will visit Pakistan - and do not expect any further investment from abroad.

"As you know, in these type of cases, people normally pay the ransom silently and they do not make an official report in Pakistan.

"It has become a profitable business in Pakistan to kidnap people who visit from the UK or United States, or other countries.

"In the past they were only looting people and taking money but now they have become more efficient and advanced because there is no one to stop and ask them why they are doing this."

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