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Slain Muttahida MPA: a profile

June 22, 2013

KARACHI, June 21: The slain member of the Sindh Assembly, Sajid Qureshi, was widely considered one of the most trusted lieutenants of Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain and he was among the few individuals who had been awarded a party ticket for contesting the general elections directly by Mr Hussain.

While Mr Qureshi’s association with the MQM spanned over 26 years and he worked for the party in different capacities, Mr Hussain had a high regard for him as he had remained loyal to him even after the formation of a breakaway faction, the Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi, and brought out an evening newspaper, Parcham, during an army operation launched against the party in the 1990s. The 52-year-old lawmaker not only co-owned the newspaper with his elder brother but also oversaw the editorial affairs and published MQM’s viewpoint and Mr Hussain’s statements in it.

Mr Qureshi was a brother-in-law of slain MQM leader Khalid bin Waleed.

His entire family has been associated with the MQM for more than two decades.

His elder brother, Zahid Qureshi, was elected a councillor in the 1987 local bodies election before returning to the Sindh Assembly. Currently, the elder Qureshi has been working as a member of the MQM election cell.

The slain lawmaker was a resident of North Nazimabad and during the previous local government set-up he was appointed a Justice of Peace and worked in this capacity for around four years.

He was given a party ticket to contest the May 11 elections on a provincial assembly seat (PS-103 North Nazimabad) and he won the elections by bagging 40,613 votes.

He was a graduate and according to the Sindh Assembly website was associated with the business of construction as well as import and export.

One of his sons, Waqas Qureshi, 27, who was killed with him in the Friday attack, was a worker of Unit 171 of the MQM organisational structure. He had graduated from London and worked at the MQM international secretariat there. Upon his return to the country, he started working for a cyber communication wing of the MQM here.

Sajid Qureshi left three children — two sons and a daughter — and a widow.

The funeral prayers for the slain lawmaker and his son will be offered at the Jinnah Ground on Saturday after Zuhr. They will be laid to rest at the Shuhda Graveyard in Yasinabad.