Rizwan Habib Bangash, the second husband of Wajiha Swati and the prime accused in her murder case, has told the police that he helped Swati to plot the murder of her first husband Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar in 2014 in Rabwa.
Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya had initially informed the police and media that the murder was religiously motivated.
Wajiha Swati and Dr Mehdi were settled in the United States and were parents of three sons. Four months after the death of Dr Mehdi – a cardiologist who was volunteering at an Ahmadi hospital in Rabwa when he was gunned down – Bangash and Swati got married in November 2014.
Their story took another turn in 2021 when Wajiha Swati went missing in Pakistan in October 2021 and Bangash was arrested for murdering her.
As investigators questioned him about Wajiha Swati’s murder, he not only confessed to killing her but also dropped hints about the 2014 murder of Dr Mehdi Qambar and the police reopened the old case.
Last month, he was moved to Chenab Nagar (the official name of Rabwa) in connection with the murder of the Ahmadi doctor as the police probed love triangle as a possible motive.
Bangash has confessed during the interrogation that he and Wajiha Swati hired two hitmen from the Hangu area of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa to kill Dr Mehdi in Rabwa, police sources close to the investigation told SAMAA Digital.
According to the sources, one of the hitmen has died of a natural cause while the police are trying to arrest the other.
Initially, the murder was declared religiously motivated and no one was interrogated in this regard.
But authorities have now pieced together what they believed had happened: Wajiha conspired to murder her husband along with her friend, Rizwan Habib Bangash. The suspected motive? A secret romance and a lot of money.
Wajiha, who was able to establish that Dr Medi was murdered for being an Ahmadi, collected on his life insurance policies. Bangash also promised her huge property and money for marrying him.
Bangash also claimed the Wajiha Swati wanted to be with him. This was another motive for murdering Dr Mehdi.
Bangash made the confession during his 20-day physical custody with the Chenab Nagar Police Station. An eight-member high-level police team is investigating the murder of Dr Mehdi. However, Bangash has been sent back to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on judicial remand.
A member of the investigation team, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told SAMAA Digital that the investigators have been repeatedly trying to contact the relatives of Dr Mehdi but they are not willing to pursue the case.
However, he said, some notables of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya are cooperating. The police are trying to glean every possible proof related to the murder to ensure exemplary punishment to the killers, he added.
Dr Mehdi was gunned down on May 26, 2014, and the FIR cited religious hate to be a possible motive because he was a member of the persecuted Ahmadiyya community.
Wajiha Swati and Bangash tied the knot on November 11, 2014, according to the marriage certificate, a copy of which is available with SAMAA Digital.
In 2021, months before she was murdered, Wajiha tried to get her marriage dissolved. She obtained a fatwa from Islamabad’s Lal Masjid on February 16, 2021, declaring that she was a Sunni Muslim and her husband Rizwan had become an Ahmadi. In this way, she got her marriage declared void by Mufti Habib Salman of Darul Ifta Lal Masjid.
After obtaining the Fatwa, Wajiha filed a suit for the dissolution of marriage at an Abbottabad family court on March 6, 2021, but she did not attach a copy of the fatwa with the suit application. By June 21, Wajiha withdrew the case saying she had entered into a compromise with her husband Bangash.
In October 2021, she returned to Pakistan after Bangash assured her of transferring the promised matrimonial property under her name. However, she went missing shortly afterwards.
Police investigators later said that Bangash killed her and buried her body in Lakki Marwat.
The body was exhumed and returned to the United States where she was laid to rest.