KARACHI: A senior lawyer from the minority Shia sect who was also a counsel for several activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was shot dead in Karachi's Korangi No 1 1/2 area on Wednesday.
Two motorcycle-riding gunmen intercepted Advocate Ali Hasnain Bukhari’s vehicle in Korangi as he left his residence for work. The assailants shot the lawyer three times and managed to escape from the site after the attack.
The victims succumbed to his wounds while being shifted to a hospital for treatment.
A MQM spokesperson told Dawn that the senior lawyer was a party worker and added that the killing was the fourth incident of its kind during the past week.
The MQM Rabita Committee condemned the incident and said in a statement that the killing of party workers had become routine. The committee demanded the immediate arrest of those responsible for the attack.
MQM chief Altaf Hussain condemned the killing of the worker, and asked whether approaching court for the recovery of missing persons is a crime.
He also asked provincial, federal and military authorities about what they had to say about the brutal murder of Ali Hasnain.
The Sindh Bar Council, an apex lawyers' body at the provincial level, gave the call for boycott of courts across the province on Monday in protest against the targeted killing.
Karachi Bar Association president Naeem Qureshi also condemned the incident and expressed sympathies with the heirs of the victim.
Police and emergency teams reached the spot and security personnel cordoned off the area as a probe into the incident went underway.
Landhi SP Akhtar Farooq said that four bullet casings of 9mm pistol had been recovered from the site. He added that the attack was being probed from all angles including the sectarian angle and the angle of general targeted killings.
The victim was also said to be a member of the MQM’s legal aid committee and was representing several party workers in cases related to enforced disappearances and arrests during the ongoing operation in Karachi.
Fear and panic gripped the area after the attack, the details of which are not yet clearly known.
Since 2007, increasing violence in Pakistan — with militants targeting political leaders, the military and police, clerics, tribal leaders, members of the Shia sect and schools — has found an urban epicentre in Karachi.
A joint grand targeted operation was launched in the country's financial capital amidst great fanfare in Sept 2013 with the hopes of improving the law and order situation in the city.