KARACHI, Nov 9: A senior member of the Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) advisory committee and founder of a publishing house was gunned down in a targeted attack in Karimabad shortly after an hours-long protest against the fresh wave of sectarian killings in the city on consecutive days ended on Friday evening.
Syed Saeed Haider Zaidi, 52, was shot dead in front of his wife as they were about to return on a motorbike from Meena Bazaar where they had gone for shopping.
His wife remained unhurt.
Over the past four days, eight people have been killed in what police described as ‘sectarian’ attacks in the city, with almost all the victims belonging to one sect.
The Friday shooting was carried out within the remit of the Gulberg police station after the police dispersed those protesting the sectarian killings with tear gas and by firing into the air near the Numaish traffic intersection.
Earlier, a bus and a car were set on fire during the protest when police stopped the protesters from proceeding towards the Governor’s House.
The protesters also set fire to tyres and erected barricades on M.A. Jinnah Road.
To lodge their protest over the ongoing sectarian killings in the city, Pasban-i-Aza had announced that a protest rally would be taken from Mehfil Shah-i-Khurasan to the Governor’s House.
On Friday evening when protesters tried to begin marching towards the Governor’s House, the police pushed them back into the streets of Britto Road by firing tear-gas shells and into the air.
The clashes between the police and the protesters continued for over two hours, causing serious a traffic jam at both the ends of the road.
During the clashes, the police rounded up around a dozen of protesters. Subsequently, a sit-in was staged by the participants in the protest rally at the Numaish traffic intersection seeking the release of the detained protesters.
The marchers dispersed peacefully from the main intersection and the police released the detained persons only after successful talks between the police and some representatives of the protesters.
Shortly afterwards, in yet another sectarian attack, the senior advisory committee member of the ISO was shot dead in Karimabad, police said.
“The victim, Syed Saeed Haider Zaidi, had come along with his wife to Karimabad for some shopping. He parked his motorbike close to a Haleem shop near Meena Bazaar. He was about to return on the motorcycle when two armed men approached him and pumped two bullets in the head,” said Gulberg SSP Amir Farooqui.
The victim’s wife remained unhurt in the shooting, the officer said, adding that the assailants only targeted Mr Zaidi. The victim died on the spot, while the suspects fled, the police said.
The police later shifted the body to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities, where a large number of victim’s friends and ISO members reached. The body was later taken to Imambargah Shah-i-Karbala, Rizvia Society, in the form of a procession.
Besides being associated with the ISO advisory committee, Mr Zaidi was founder of a publishing house, ‘Darul Saqlain’. The senior advisory committee generally comprises of five or six members.
When the body was taken back to the victim’s residence in Rizvia Society, tension spread in the area leading to closure of markets in the area.
Reports of heavy gunfire were also received from the area following the incident.
Mr Zaidi was father of three children, two married daughters and a son, sources close to the family said.