2 lawyers among five shot dead in Karachi
KARACHI: At least five people, including two lawyers associated with a political party, were shot dead and three others wounded in targeted attacks in different parts of the city on Friday, leaving members of the legal fraternity and political parties aghast just a day before the major parties will take part in a peace walk.
Fifty-year-old Fahim Riaz Siddiqi and 45-year-old Saleem Bhatti, both associated with the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), were returning home in a car from work a little after 8pm when they were attacked on a road linking Abyssinia Line with Sharea Faisal near the FTC flyover, police said.
While the police said they had not found any eyewitness who could share information about the deadly assault, they believed the job was executed by armed men riding a motorbike as was seen in most targeted killings.
“The car (Z-9053) came under intense firing as it was about to appear on Sharea Faisal and went out of the driver’s control,” said a senior police official.
Subsequently, the car hit a bicycle before ramming into a pillar of the flyover, he said, adding that two young riders sustained injuries in the accident.
The attackers appeared to be waiting for the lawyers under the bridge which usually remained dark at night, the official said. However, he added, the police could not find any eyewitness who could tell about the number of attackers and their appearance.
The firing was so intense that it left both lawyers dead on the spot, the police said. The bodies were later shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. The investigators said the attackers used 9mm pistol and targeted faces and heads of the two victims.
Mr Siddiqi, a resident of Liaquat Square in Malir, was the chief organiser of the PML(N) Lawyers Forum in Sindh and Mr Bhatti, a resident of PECHS, was vice president of the same body.
“It’s an irreparable loss, as the attackers deprived us of the two competent lawyers and true democratic political workers,” said Arshad Jadoon, the central organising secretary of the PML (N) Lawyers Forum.
“Our colleagues were targeted for their struggle for a fearless society and to harass the legal fraternity, which wants justice to prevail.”
Meanwhile, the Karachi Bar Association and Sindh Bar Council announced a boycott of court proceedings on Saturday. Both bodies also announced that they would stage protest demonstrations in lower courts against the targeted killing of lawyers.