4 political activists gunned down in Karachi
KARACHI: The ongoing wave of targeted killings claimed lives of four political activists in the city on Wednesday, as the menace remained beyond control of the provincial security establishment and the political administration, police and party sources said.
All the four killings were confirmed by officials at the central police office`s special cell, which has been recently set up on the chief minister`s directives to keep the exact record of targeted killings in an effort to prevent misreporting of the incidents in the print and electronic media.
A gun attack near Ibn-i-Sina Hospital in Gulshan-i-Iqbal left a 42-year-old man and his nephew dead and their two friends wounded, the police said.
All the four victims were associated with the Pakistan People`s Party (PPP). “The deceased victims have been identified as Hussain Abid and his nephew, Iqbal Khan,” said Gulshan-i-Iqbal SHO Inspector Kanson Deen.
“They were residents of Liaquatabad and had come to the apartments along University Road in Block 6 of Gulshan-i-Iqbal to see their common friends, Ibrahim Jatoi and Ghulam Nabi Brohi.”
The inspector said that all the four friends were at a cold drink shop near their home when two men riding a motorbike pulled up there. One of the riders opened fire on them and fled along with his accomplice.
“The firing killed Iqbal and Hussain and wounded Ibrahim and Ghulam Nabi. Both the wounded victims were taken to a private hospital on Stadium Road.”
“The attackers used a 9mm pistol,” the SHO said, adding that investigators had collected spent bullet casings of 9mm pistol found at the crime-scene.
The PPP leaders saw the incident as part of the frequent killings of political activists that had been going on for more than a month, “mainly targeting the ruling party”.
The leaders said the victims were active party members.
“It is a brutal incident,” said Sohail Abidi, a senior leader of the PPP`s Karachi division. “We have been a target for the past few years but it is the vision and reconciliation policy of the PPP leadership that has so far kept workers calm and peaceful.”
Earlier, an Awami National Party (ANP) worker was targeted in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.
The victim, identified as 29-year-old Asif Khan alias Angraiz, was gunned down in Block 13 of Gulistan-i-Jauhar.
“He was associated with the construction business and was heading to work when two men riding a motorbike targeted him. A bullet hit him in the head and another in the left arm,” said an official at the Sharea Faisal police station.
The police officials said that the victim was a resident of the Pehalwan Goth area.
An ANP spokesman condemned the incident and said the victim was an active member in the Bhitaiabad ward of the party`s organisational structure.
In a Bin Qasim area, a young man was found shot dead with a bullet wound each in the head and chest, the police said.
The victim was identified as 36-year-old Muhammad Haris, an activist of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) and a resident of Juma Himayati Goth near Bhains Colony.
“The victim was found shot dead at an abandoned place near the Port Qasim industrial area,” said Sukkan SHO Sub-Inspector Ahmed Sheikh.
“He has been identified as a JSQM activist by area people but there is no such claim made by the party leaders. The body has been handed over to the family after medico-legal formalities at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.”
SSP Naeem Sheikh, who heads the CPO cell, said the four killings in the day were executed apparently on political grounds according to initial investigations.
But, he added, that “out of the four killings, there is some doubt about the incident that claimed the life of a JSQM activist. The motive behind his killing is not clear so far,” he said.