Karachi: Senior lawyer, son killed in Malir
KARACHI: A senior lawyer and his son were shot dead on a busy road of the city on Saturday morning in what appears to be the latest spate of sectarian violence, police said. Salahuddin Haider, 60, a former president of the Malir Bar Association, and his son Ali Raza Haider, 24, were on their way to work in an auto-rickshaw when four armed men, riding two motorcycles, intercepted them in Ghazi Town, Malir.
“They were asked to step out and were shot three times from a close range with .9mm pistols,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Rao Iqbal. The victims died at the scene.
Seven lawyers have been killed since January 1 in what police believe sectarian attacks in Karachi. These organised attacks have alarmed the lawyers, who plan to observe a strike by shutting down offices on Monday and hold a citywide protest.
An FIR has been registered at the Malir City police station.
General Secretary Karachi Bar Association (KBA) Khalid Mumtaz said he was unclear about the motive for the killings. He said Salahuddin Haider was not a member of any religious or sectarian organisation nor was he even handling any high-profile cases.
“Although the killings appear to be sectarian in nature, there are times when sectarian violence is just a garb to create a rift between our communities,” he said. “We should tread carefully before coming to a conclusion.”
Earlier this year, three KBA members — Kafeel Jaffery, Badar Munir and Maqbool-ur-Rehman — were also killed in a similar manner.
Mumtaz said that in one case three people from the same family were shot dead along with their assistants, but the police failed to ascertain the exact motive behind the murder.
DSP Iqbal said at least 31 members belonging to the Shia community had been killed in a similar manner during the last two years. Sporadic incidents of sectarian violence continued unabated in the city in recent years, he said.
He identified the low conviction rate as a reason for the unabated sectarian violence. Even when the perpetrators of such killings were arrested, people remained unwilling to appear as witnesses in court, he added.
In a separate incident, a Shia youth, Asad Rizvi, was shot by unknown men in North Nazimabad. He was immediately taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where doctors said his condition was out of danger. Rizvi is a trustee of Babul Ilm in Karachi.