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MQM provincial lawmaker Syed Manzar Imam.— Photo courtesy Sindh Assembly website.

KARACHI, Jan 17: “Manzar Bhai knew he was on the hit list of terrorists but not for a single day he stopped serving people of his constituency or left his area due to any fear...he was a brave man,” said Saifuddin Khalid, a member of the Sindh Assembly whose friendship with the slain lawmaker spanned over a period of more than two decades.

The 46-year-old slain lawmaker, Syed Manzar Imam, had joined the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in 1986. He remained associated with the Orangi Town sector of the MQM’s organisational structure and became an MPA in the 2008 election from PS-95 by securing 81,659 votes. He was also a member of the provincial assembly standing committees on cooperative, environment and alternative energy and prisons.

He left a widow, two children, two brothers, three sisters and his mother. He was a Karachi University graduate. While many people believed he was a Shia, he was actually a Sunni.

His name came to the limelight after the August 2010 killing of MQM lawmaker Raza Haider, who was also elected from an Orangi Town constituency (PS-94), when police investigators had said that Manzar Imam, too, was a potential target of the terrorists who killed MPA Haider on sectarian grounds.

Mr Khalild, who won the by-election on the provincial assembly seat that had fallen vacant after MPA Haider’s killing, said that Manzar Imam had received threats a number of times but he was not provided with added security.

“Only four to six months ago, he was given some police guards for his security. He remained in his constituency even in worst law and order conditions and always played a role in defusing any sectarian or political tension. People of the area loved him,” he said.

He said the slain lawmaker struggled against those fanning sectarian hatred in Orangi Town.

According to an MQM press release, his funeral prayer will be held in Jinnah Ground, Azizabad after Friday prayers and he will be laid to rest at the Yasinabad graveyard.

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