KARACHI: Though literacy and education are solutions to many problems, attending elite schools may not guarantee that young man next door will not turn out to be a convicted terrorist.
Saad Aziz, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court, was once a bright student who received quality education at some of the best schools in Karachi.
He completed his GCE O-Levels from Beaconhouse School System and A-Levels from The Lyceum School in Karachi. (The GCE education is administered by University of Cambridge in select locations across the world. It is expensive and far from the reach of the masses in Pakistan.) He then went on to study at one of the country”s most prestigious business school, Institute of Business Administration, in Karachi.
However bright and educated he was, he resorted to an ideology that condoned killing. According to a press release issued by the Pakistani armed forces on May 12, Saad was an active member of the Al Qaeda.
Saad received the death sentence for his involvement in the Safoora Goth bus carnage and murder of prominent human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud, among other cases.
Saad told the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) members that he and his comrades were “inspired” by the sectarian conflict in Yemen, DAWN reported. Before massacring the Shia Ismaili community members travelling in their community bus near Safoora Goth, they had watched a video, in which Houthi rebels were allegedly seen killing “women and children” in Yemen.
The IBA graduate confessed he and the other accused had gunned down Sabeen Mahmud in Defence because of her secular and liberal views, specifically using “filthy language” against Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid.
From student to killer
“In 2009 he [Saad] went to Unilever company for a four-week internship where he met one Ali Rehman who was employed in Demand Planning Department.”
Ali had become a “little bit religious” after performing Umrah. It was Ali Rehman who turned his mind to killing in the name of religion.
Next year, Ali introduced him to Haris who had remained associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami, a Pakistani religious and political party, and later on joined Al Qaeda (Ahmed Farooq group). He remained in touch with Haris through the Internet until he graduated from IBA. Haris then sent Saad to attend a militancy training in Miram Shah in 2011. The JIT claimed that he had informed his parents he was going for “training to Afghanistan”.
He completed the training in 25 days along with “eight or 10 other boys”, most of whom were sent back. However, Saad, along with three others, was asked by one Ustad Ahmed Farooq to stay when his educational background was known.
“After about four and half months, he [Saad] came back to Karachi and joined his restaurant business.” Saad got married in 2012 and kept Ali and Haris updated with his activities. He also started writing articles about jihad in English.
During this period, Ali told Saad some in the groups were not “satisfied” with “activities” of Haris. Ali then arranged Saad’s meeting with one Umer, alias Haider Abbas, alias Akif, who told him “they had a lot of work to do.”
They decided to contact each other through Skype, Whatsapp and Viber.
“He did not disclose anything to Haris regarding this meeting and remained in touch with Umer for six months and normally gave him pick and drop facilities,” said the JIT report.
Subsequently, in 2014, Saad along with a comrade attacked a police van, killing three policemen. Hence, unfolded a saga that would result in the death of many lives, including Saad’s. – SAMAA