KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Rashid Godil was critically wounded after unidentified armed men opened fire at his vehicle near his residence in Karachi's Bahadurabad area on Tuesday following which he underwent emergency surgery and is currently in critical condition at the Liaquat National Hospital.
Hospital sources said that the MQM leader suffered five bullet wounds on his chest, head and arm.
After the attack, Godil was shifted to a nearby hospital where his condition was stated as critical owing to excessive loss of blood. He underwent surgery at a private hospital and was later put on ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit of Liaquat National Hospital, according to Anjum Rizvi, the spokesperson of Liaquat National Hospital.
Rizvi added that said that Godil's driver, who was also injured in the incident, was shifted to the Aga Khan University Hospital where succumbed to his injuries during treatment.
Godil was travelling with his driver and a family member when the attack took place. Details of the family member's condition are not known.
Gulshan SP Abid Qaimkhani told Dawn that unidentified motorcycle-riding armed men intercepted Godil's vehicle and fired eight bullets after identifying the Muttahida leader.
He added that eight spent bullet casings of a 9 mm pistol were recovered from the spot.
Fear and panic gripped the city as markets and shops closed down their businesses in different areas after the attack.
MQM leader Syed Ali Raza Abdidi tweeted that Godil's condition was stable and wished a speedy recovery of the wounded leader.
Addressing a press conference, MQM leader Farooq Sattar, who was flanked by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, condemned the 'cowardly terrorist attack' on Rashid Godil. He said that condemnations against the tragic incident had poured in from within the party and other political quarters.
Sattar said that the incident is being considered as an attempt to sabotage the peace of Karachi and hoped that those behind the attack would be arrested soon and made to face justice.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman appreciated MQM's reaction to the incident and praised the party's attitude in the face of the tragic circumstances.
The attack took place while JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was visiting the MQM headquarters, Nine Zero, to hold talks with a Muttahida delegation over the issue of MQM legislators’ resignations.
The talks, which were under way in a pleasant atmosphere, were abruptly suspended as the news of the attack on Godil reached the MQM headquarters.
A large number of MQM leaders, supporters and activists began gathering at the party's Nine Zero headquarters where they were holding prayers for the speedy recovery of the wounded party leader.
Police have formed a joint investigation team (JIT) under the supervision of DIG East Munir Shaikh to probe the incident. SSP East Javed Jiskani, SSP East Investigation Zulfiqar Meher and SSP SIU Farooq Awan will be the members of that team.
A press release issued by Rangers also condemned the attack on MQM leader Rashid Godil and wished for his speedy recovery. The statement added that probe into various aspects of the incident was under way and those responsible for the attack would be brought to justice soon.
The Rangers press release also appealed to citizens to provide any information regarding the attack on the Rangers 1101 helpline.
MQM leader Wasay Jalil tweeted in support of his wounded colleague.
Rashid Godil had served as MQM's deputy parliamentary leader in the National Assembly until MQM lawmakers' recent submission of resignations from parliaments. He was elected as a Member of National Assembly from Karachi's NA-252 constituency during the 2013 general elections.
Sindh's senior Minister Nisar Ahmad Khuhro, belonging to the Pakistan Peoples Party, talking to DawnNews condemned the attack on Rashid Godil and termed the incident an attempt to ruin the atmosphere of the city.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf spokesperson Shireen Mazari also issued a tweet condemning the attack.
PTI leader Imran Ismail, in a tweet, also expressed shock and prayed for Godil's speedy recovery.
JUI-F leader Jan Muhammad Khan Achakzai also tweeted a condemnation message.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah took notice of the incident and sought an immediate report from IG Sindh Police Ghulam Hyder Jamali.
PPP co-chairpersons Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and former president Asif Ali Zardari also condemned the attack on Rashid Godil according to a press release and tweet issued by the party's media cell.
Chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain also issued a statement strongly caondemning the attack on party leader Rashid Godil.
MQM leader Mohammad Anwar also posted a tweet praying for the MQM leader's recovery.
MQM leader Mustafa Azizabadi tweeted praying for speedy recovery of Godil.
Sindh Governor Dr. Ishratul Ibad also issued a tweet condemning the incident and sought a report over the incident from IG Sindh police.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a statement, also condemned the attack on MQM's Rashid Godil and prayed for his recovery.