Former MNA Karimdad killed: Gang war claims 13 lives in Karachi
KARACHI: Former MNA Ahmed Karimdad, better known as Waja Karimdad, of the Pakistan People’s Party was among 13 people killed in Karachi on Wednesday in what police termed a fresh bout of a war between ‘criminal gangs’ operating in Lyari, the city’s oldest neighborhood.
The victims — all residents of Lyari and adjoining old city areas — included an 11-year-old boy and a teenage girl who fell prey to deadly attacks in which guns, hand-grenades and rockets were freely used.
Police said violence erupted in the evening after five young residents of Lyari were found shot dead in different parts of the city in the morning.
Five other people were killed in armed attacks in different parts of the city, though police said those incidents did not appear to be linked with the Lyari violence.
“The violence is actually connected to clashes between rival gangs in Lyari,” Saud Mirza, the Additional IG of Sindh Police, told Dawn, ruling out any political influence or motivation behind the fresh assaults. “These are purely criminal gangs which are operating in the neighbourhood and have nothing to do with politics. They mainly targeted innocent people in their armed rivalry.”
However, police could not give any information to substantiate a link between the attack on Waja Karimdad and the gang war.
The fresh clashes between the gangs which are often alleged to be supported by political groups paralysed life in the densely-populated district of the city and spread fear and panic among the residents.
Police and other law-enforcement agencies appeared helpless in stopping the almost hour-long attacks in Bheempura area, where armed men on motorbikes were seen freely lobbing grenades and firing rockets.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah condemned the Lyari violence and killing of the former MNA and Home Minister Manzoor Hussain Wasan termed it a ‘conspiracy’.
They promised effective measures to “trace and arrest the culprits behind the violence” but no arrest was made till late in the night.
“We are devising a comprehensive plan to establish peace in Karachi,” a home ministry statement quoted Mr Wasan as saying. “The police have been asked to submit a report within three days on the killing of Waja Karimdad. The government will not let the terrorists succeed in their evil designs.”