Karachi: Resurgence of violence: Two dead in targeted attacks fuelled by sectarian differences
KARACHI: A doctor and an Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat activist were shot dead in separate incidents that are being pegged down to sectarian attacks. Violence also erupted in the restless Godhra Camp and three policemen were left injured after they tried to set up a picket in the area.
A 42-year-old homeopathic doctor, Abdul Rehman, was shot and killed inside his clinic at Babar Market in Landhi on Monday. He is believed to be a former member of a banned religious outfit. Witnesses claim they saw two armed men on a motorcycle ride up to the clinic and ask the watchman, Abdul Aziz, if the doctor was in.
When Aziz confirmed that he was, the men barged in, shot Rehman twice and fled. He was taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre where doctors pronounced him dead before arrival. Landhi police found empty shells from a 9mm pistol at the crime scene.
The father of four lived in Zamanabad. SHO Malik Mazhar Awan said that the authorities have yet to confirm which group he had been with but claim that he had once trained in Afghanistan. Finding out which religious party he was affiliated with will help the police confirm the motive behind what they currently believe is an act of sectarian violence. The victim’s family also refused to disclose anything about his background and had the case registered against unidentified people.
Later in the afternoon, a senior activist of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), formerly known as Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Maulana Abdul Hafeez, was killed while his friend, Qari Hafeezur Rehman, was wounded.
The pair was targeted while they were having tea at the Quetta Darbaar hotel near NIPA Chowrangi. Once again, two armed men on a motorcycle were seen shooting at the hotel and disappearing. This, coupled with the pair’s SSP affiliation, has led the police to suspect the doctor’s death and this attack may be the work of the same pair of assassins.
The men were taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre where Hafeez succumbed to his injuries and Rehman was admitted with critical wounds.
The men lived in Green Town, Shah Faisal Colony and the deceased was the peshimam (prayer leader) at the al Manzar Mosque in the Al-Manzar residential apartment in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. Hafeez was from Haripur and has left behind two daughters, a son and a widow. Rehman is a Quran teacher at a seminary in the same area. ASWJ spokesperson Taj Hanfi claimed that Hafeez was the group’s legal advisor for District East while Rehman is his area’s local leader.
Gulshan-e-Iqbal SHO Dost Mohammad confirmed the men’s affiliation with the SSP and explained that the police are looking at the incident as a sectarian attack. No case was registered till this news story was filed.