LAHORE: Protesting against the deteriorating law and order situation and targeted killings in Karachi, Pakistan’s main opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), staged a walk-out from both the upper and lower houses of Parliament on Wednesday.
The protest comes less than a day after politician Mian Taimur, the PML-N’s deputy secretary in Sindh, and his father Mian Arbab were gunned down in Karachi’s upscale neighbourhood of Defence.
Mian Taimur is the second politician in a week to become the victim of a targeted killing in Karachi, raising fears of violence as the country moves closer to general elections.
In a statement issued from Lahore, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif condemned the killing of the party’s Sindh deputy secretary and his father, and expressed his condolences to the aggrieved family.
Sharif called on authorities to bring to justice the criminals involved in the killing.
The PML-N chief said innocent civilians were being killed in Karachi on a daily basis. He added that elements involved in targeted killings would have to be crushed to restore peace and security.
Sharif blamed the government for its failure in preventing targeted killings and arresting the perpetrators.
Last Thursday, Manzar Imam, a provincial lawmaker of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was killed with three of his guards in Karachi.
The city of 18 million, which is Pakistan’s business hub, last year saw its deadliest year in two decades, with around 2,000 people killed in violence linked to ethnic and political tensions.
Pakistan is expected to hold elections by mid-May with the federal parliament due to disband by mid-March. The polls are expected to mark the first democratic transition between two civilian governments in Pakistan’s history.