Friday February 23, 2024

Shahzad Akbar attacked by acid, confirm UK police

Shahzad Akbar says he was in touch with UK agencies after his brother was arrested in Pakistan

November 28, 2023
Former Assets Recovery Unit head Shahzad Akbar after the attack on him. — Reporter
Former Assets Recovery Unit head Shahzad Akbar after the attack on him. — Reporter

LONDON: The police in the United Kingdom have confirmed that former Pakistani cabinet member Shahzad Akbar was a victim of an acid attack at his home on Sunday and sought information which could assist in the probe.

In a statement, Hertfordshire police said that they were contacted by the ambulance service just before 4:45pm on Sunday (November 26) on reports of an assault in Royston — around 50 miles out of London where Akbar now lives with his wife and two daughters.

The police said: “It is believed an acidic solution was used. A 46-year-old man received hospital treatment and has now been discharged. The safety of any victim is paramount and we believe this is an isolated incident. Active enquiries are underway. Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information which could assist with our investigation is asked to please contact police.”

Police sources — and Akbar — confirmed to Geo News that the former cabinet member had written to the law enforcement authorities in the UK around two weeks ago that he felt in danger because his new address in Royston was known to the Pakistani government.

Imran Khan’s former adviser did so after receiving a letter from the Cabinet Division asking questions about his role in the £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA)  properties settlement case and Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi’s Al-Qadir Trust case.

“I have been in touch with the UK agencies (Police, National Crime Agency (NCA), intelligence services) after my brother was arrested in Pakistan and kept in custody for many months. The letter two weeks ago came to my new address which was shocking for me because it was a clear message from the Pakistan government that my location is known. So the police already knew about this matter. What was the need to send me a letter at my new address when letters were being served in Islamabad at my home address,” said Akbar.

A source linked with the Pakistani government with full knowledge of the ongoing cases said it’s a legal requirement to serve papers to the accused’s known address. Akbar holds evidence and documents in the £190 million corruption case and he took away these state-owned papers and refused to cooperate with the inquiry, said the source claimed.

The claim has been denied by Akbar.

On Sunday evening, an unidentified man threw acid on Akbar’s face at his home in the UK.

Speaking to Geo News, Akbar said a delivery person came to his house and threw acid on him as soon as he opened the door. However, he said, most of the acid landed on the door but he sustained injuries on his hand.

"My wife and children remained unharmed, only I got some injuries," said the former PTI leader.

The politician, who has been in self-exile in the UK, said that he was at home with his kids on Sunday when a delivery man wearing a helmet rang the doorbell.

He said that as soon as he opened the door, the man threw acid on him from a bottle, adding that one side of his face and body were injured by the acid. He said his two young daughters were around when the delivery man rang the door.

Akbar said he was lucky not to lose his sight in the attack.

“I was saved by my spectacles, which were badly damaged. There are acid burns on my hands and arm."

Akbar said that he called the police soon after the incident and the law enforcement officials reached his residence within five minutes. The former accountability chief said that he remained in the hospital for 10 to 11 hours after which he was taken back home.