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PTI senior leader Zahra Shahid killed on eve of Karachi re-polls

Published May 19, 2013 08:37am


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Zahra Shahid Hussain can be seen in white in this photo. – Courtesy
Zahra Shahid Hussain can be seen in white in this photo. – Courtesy

KARACHI: Vice-President of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf’s Sindh chapter, Zahra Shahid Hussain, was killed late on Saturday in an attempted robbery incident on the eve of re-polls in Karachi’s NA-250 constituency, DawnNews reported.

According to police, three motorcycle riders tried to steal Hussain’s handbag and opened fire upon resistance by the PTI leader outside her residence in the city’s Defence Housing Authority Phase-IV.

Senior police officer Nasir Aftab said the incident appeared to be a purse-snatching attempt that went wrong. However, he added that further investigation would reveal more facts. He said all three gunmen escaped after the attack.

“She thought they wanted to snatch her purse and handed it over to them but they killed her,” said PTI leader Firdous Shamim.

PTI chief Imran Khan and spokeswoman Shireen Mazari condemned the killing of their party leader and demanded swift arrest of the culprits.

Mazari declared the incident as an act of terror and a mark of failure on part of the provincial government. She said Imran Khan had requested the government to take action against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain for issuing threatening and provocative statements to incite violence in the country, but the government did not take any action.

Altaf Hussain condemned the killing of Zahra Shahid. However, Imran Khan has blamed the MQM chief for his party leader’s killing in Karachi. Zahra Shahid Hussain was the former president of the party’s Sindh Women’s wing and was also one of the founding members of PTI.

In a tweet, the PTI chief said he held Altaf Hussain directly responsible for the killing as he (Altaf) had openly threatened PTI activists and leaders through public broadcasts. Khan, in another tweet, also held the British government responsible for the ‘murder’ of Zahra Shahid saying he had warned them about British citizen (Hussain) after his open threats to PTI workers’ lives.

The PTI chief also announced to launch a nationwide protest against what he called the conduct of MQM.

PTI leader and electoral candidate for NA-250 Arif Alvi said Zahra Shahid received two bullet wounds on her head. She had been with the party for the past 16 years, he added.

Meanwhile, an investigation team of Karachi police has reached the National Medical Centre where Zahra Shahid had been moved for treatment. SSP CID Fayyaz Khan was heading the probe team.

The MQM has called for an urgent meeting of the party’s Rabita Committee over the incident. Party leader Wasay Jalil said Imran Khan had wrongly alleged the MQM chief and in haste.

Speaking to the media after the Rabita Committee meeting, Dr Farooq Sattar said MQM strongly condemned Imran Khan’s hurried allegations against Altaf Hussain. He said the party would take legal action against what he called a conspiracy to politically polarise Karachi.

Earlier on Wednesday, the London Metropolitan police had launched an investigation against the MQM chief following complaints by hundreds of British and Pakistani citizens over one of his speeches.

The speech in question was televised across various media outlets Sunday night in which Altaf Hussain said it would be best to separate Karachi from the rest of Pakistan if the public mandate of his party was not acceptable to the ‘establishment.’ However, the MQM later clarified saying Altaf Hussain’s statements were taken out of context.

In the said speech, the MQM chief used threatening language saying his party workers would teach protesters at Teen Talwar a lesson if he ordered them to do so. He also threatened to harm those who are hatching conspiracies against MQM. He had moreover directed party activists to mentally prepare themselves for his next call. “I am about to set free my enraged followers if opposition against our party is not stopped,” he added.


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Comments (34) Closed

SHasan May 19, 2013 08:53am

This is not an attempeted robbery, it is a political murder

Sri1 May 19, 2013 08:56am

This game of political one-upmanship is getting ridiculous by the day. As if mere statements from politicians will incite their followers to murder - yes, party workers can riot, cause strikes etc., but murder is taking it a bit too far. We all know which agencies resort to murder - may it be reporters (so many), influential politicians (ZAB, BB, Murtaza), leaders from provinces (Bugti) etc. But then no one in the purest of the pure lands can bring rogue elements to heel.

Citizen May 19, 2013 08:57am

It is about time to kick out this mince in Arabian Sea. People of Karachi has suffered enough during last 20 years and it is time to enforce emergency in Karachi and let Army write the final chapter once for all.

Syed Asad May 19, 2013 09:39am

Shame on our media for calling it a robbery attempt. Robbers were waiting for a specifictarget in DHA ? (Where they could have targeted anyone) Yeah right! I'm not buying this lie.

Salman May 19, 2013 10:36am

This is totally bias of Imran Khan, I had so much respect but blaming MQM is ridiculous. It is really easy for 3rd party involvement here, Is Imran blind or what? blaming game is absurd.

roshaan May 19, 2013 10:44am

its very depressing & heartning news of politician Zahra Shahid Hussain's murder. that is the wrost part of pakistan political culture, which is based on intolerence. a very sad incident, condemnable. may her soul rest in eternal peace.

syed baqar ahsan May 19, 2013 10:53am

This one kill took away strong opposition from future assembly,poor people friendly manifesto of PTI/MQM will become life less,local bodies election demand of both parties gone far off which Pakistanis could have relished and above all still agencies and own forces could find out who is that force in Karachi still have shoot to keep city boiling.SITUATION - when all will sit with complete sincerity after removing snakes from their sleeves for real peace in complete country.

MumbaiGuy May 19, 2013 10:58am

Sad news. This is clearly a case of political murder. Three motorcycle riders tried to steal Hussain

Mr.T May 19, 2013 11:15am

This is the only right time to tight all of Pti opponents once and for all, IK call agencies and told them this should be stopped or Pti will resign all of his seats, if Pti doesn't support imran then Ik should resign. people came out to imran not Pti so imran should goto people back. if same condolence statements from ik, its same as other leaders who's people die miserably and they didn't get anything else...

ahmad May 19, 2013 12:12pm

PTI should file an FIR against the suspects as soon as possible. Killers roam freely under the patronage of a dictator who has held Karachi hostage from many decades. He openly talks about disintegration of Pakistan (not once) but no body dares to point a finger against him or all the listeners who clap and clap and rejoice. We need to question ourselves why we are so scared. If we could not control our fear and remained inactive these killers one day may target our mother our sisters our daughters. We should not let this happen and must come out and join those who risked their lives and dared to stand against them. Remember it is us who can save ourselves. No one is coming for help.

MQM Supporter May 19, 2013 01:47pm

Altaf Hussain has come to age and with the growing popularity of new political parties with more realistic agenda to resolve the problems of Karachi and Sindh, I would think that the democratic leadership of MQM must look for a successor. Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad seems to be a strong contender who is not a hardliner. In order to survive, MQM leadership must realise that days of law and order and suppressing people of karachi against their will and not doing anything for them are either numbered or gone !

Rez May 19, 2013 01:53pm

Imagine a 70 plus woman resisting 3 armed man ? Who did not take her purse in the end but did take her cell phone.Rest you can imagine !!!!!

Khalil May 19, 2013 02:24pm

He should be tried in UK courts for his provocative remarks! Why doesnt he live in PAK like Musharrafe and other PAK leaders? He wont br able to call the shots from the UK no more thats for sure.

Rashid Sultan May 19, 2013 02:47pm

What makes the author think that the police in London will investigate MQM's chief? Or that anyone in London let alone the whole of United Kingdom knows the MQM chief or cares about what he does or says? If he had the courage and was a leader, he'd relinquish his British nationality (I'm surprised that UK has not only allowed him entry but also given him citizenship!) and return to Pakistan to fight his own political battles. He is probably like Abdul Qatada of Jordan. The stupid laws (about time UK introduced and followed Sharia) of UK are such that they cannot deport him either despite years of effort by the government.

ahsan May 19, 2013 04:33pm

Indeed a sad day for the majority of Pakistanis, the image of the Judiciary, ECP and defenders of the country needs to be evaluated seriously by the civil society and sane media outlets who are not the mouthpieces of any political party

qamer May 19, 2013 08:01pm

MQM and Altaf is out of control and no one can do anything at this point.

asif May 19, 2013 09:05pm

what if the Taliban did it? I mean we know the PTI has no enmity with them but maybe the Taliban don't reciprocate?

Ahmed May 19, 2013 10:47pm

PTI , PML (N) and Jamat-e-Islami are pro Taliban parties. They are supporting Taliban since then..... 35000 Pakistani civilians have been victimized by them.. Sorry, We cannot tolerate this

Sayyar Khan May 19, 2013 11:08pm

@asif: You must be an MQM suppoorter.

Sayyar Khan May 19, 2013 11:12pm

@MQM Supporter: That guy who was Karachi Mayor will be a Good Leader for MQM. This party will be destroyed as long as guys like Altaf are leaders. Just like PPP under Zardari.

khan May 20, 2013 01:54am

@Citizen: Yes,like they did in Bangladesh.This is a real problem,and can be solved only with sincere efforts and discussion.Any wrong step at this stage will lead to same situation,as we had with Awami league and sheikh Mujeeb.May be worse.

mohamad khan May 20, 2013 03:25am

Clear case of robbery, they kill while mobile snatch, doesnt seem to be a political killing.. Another frustrated statement by Imran...

anony May 20, 2013 06:48am

@Rez: It was pre-meditated murder.

anony May 20, 2013 06:50am

@Citizen: I strangely, would have to agree on this.

Ayaz May 20, 2013 09:12am

I am not able to understand why the media is treating this incident a robery event, this is the strategy to make the case weak. a 12 year child is also intelligent not to resist the robers for a mobile which is not valuable compare to his life so why a mature person will do it?

Ayaz May 20, 2013 09:13am

I am not able to understand why the media is treating this incident a robery event, this is the strategy to make the case weak. a 12 year child is also intelligent not to resist the robers for a mobile which is not valuable compare to his life so why a mature person will do it?

BaeNiqaab May 20, 2013 04:50pm

Social Media PM Imran Khan is doing black politics.

Where is the ideology of New Pakistan ?

Nasir May 20, 2013 08:22pm

I hate to say this but people in that caliber don't get out of the house with purses in their hand. They sit in the SUV while still in the house and travel with guards.

Nasir May 20, 2013 08:26pm

@Rashid Sultan: Hate to say this but UK is monitoring Pakistan situation and if/when things get better for investment and business, who else would be in better position to forward their ppl/companies then UK? They have the leader of the karach city. So yeah, they will look the other way for lots of reasons.

Raja Islam May 20, 2013 09:03pm

@Ahmed: When you say "we cannot tolerate this" are you saying that you will go out and kill all supporters of PTI, PML and JI?

Ahmed Faraz Bhatti May 20, 2013 11:33pm

@Salman Even by knowing what MQM workers are doing in Karachi. You think Imran is biased on the other hand you don't think Altaf Hussain commenting on separating Karachi ridiculous. I think MQM should suffer for all their deeds and this is the only way to free Karachi from them.

Zia Zuberi May 21, 2013 01:47am

Imran Khan must now learn how when, where and what to speak and what not to speak.

Jami May 21, 2013 04:06am

It looks interesting to see that in this murder case of PTI well off lady of DEFENSE Society, all media projecting like well wisher of PTI. Where was this media when MQM's nominated member of assembly was killed in Hyderabad? That was really a very serious problem when some nominated assembly member was killed.

Janelle May 21, 2013 10:52am

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