PESHAWAR, Jan 22: Another doctor fell victim to targeted killings in the provincial capital on Tuesday as unidentified people gunned down Dr Shah Nawaz Ali in his cantonment area clinic.
Earlier this month, Dr Riaz Hussain Shah was shot dead in Dabgari area. Police said Dr Ali, an eye specialist, was gunned down inside his clinic on the busy commercial Liaquat Street in Saddar Bazaar at around 4pm.
Local residents told Dawn that the physician had confined his activities to his profession and had no association with any sectarian group.
They said the apparent reason for the killing was that Dr Ali, who lived in cantonment area, belonged to Shia sect. When contacted, police’s investigation officer Zahid Alam Khan said the case of the killing had not been registered as the heirs of the physician had yet to record statements with police.
“We are working on the case but so far, there is no progress on it,” he said. Spokesman for Imamia Students Organisation Waseem Abbas condemned the killing, saying the growing attacks against members of Shia sect demonstrated the police’s failure to protect the people’s life. He said most of the people were target killed at busy places.
Mr Abbas demanded early arrest and punishment of the killers, and said the government should ensure immediate halt to attacks against Shias.
Majority of this month’s targeted killings happened in cantonment area. In all these cases, police say investigation is underway admitting their failure to secure clue about killers.
Police avoid declaring these attacks as sectarian and insist they are trying to reach attackers.
The current month’s first victim of targeted killings was businessman Abrar Hussain, who was gunned down near Malik Saad Khan Flyover on Jan 3. Police investigator Fazlur Rehman said efforts were being made to reach attackers and that he had yet to record statements of all heirs of the slain businessman.
“I cannot say Abrar Hussain was a victim of sectarian violence unless investigation proves it. Currently, investigation is underway,” he said, adding that the complainant in the case had not contacted police again.
The second victim of targeted killings was Dr Riaz Hussain Shah, also president of Pakistan People’s Party for Kurram Agency. He was killed by gunmen on Jan 9 when he was on the way from his clinic in Dabgari area to his house.
Police’s investigator Abdul Hameed Khan told Dawn that efforts were made to learn about attackers by accessing record of the doctor’s cellphone, but to no avail.
“We are taking steps with extreme care to reach attackers because any irresponsible move on our part can spoil the entire case,” he said, adding that the doctor’s family had yet to name suspects in the case.
Three days ago, local additional sessions judge Ihtesham Ali was shot at and injured in posh locality of Hayatabad when he was returning home. He is under treatment at an Islamabad hospital for bullet injuries.
The Hayatabad police said they had no idea about the judge’s attackers, who committed the crime riding a motorcycle and fled.
Investigation officer Sabir Khan said a team of police officials was investigating the case but they had yet to make any breakthrough.
He said no arrests had been made in the case.