Sindh Minister for Planning and Development Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and his wife, former MPA Fariha Razzaq, were found shot dead in their home in Karachi's Defence Housing Authority on Thursday, DawnNews reported.
According to initial reports, the bodies were found in a bedroom, with the door locked. However, Counter-Terrorism Department official, Raja Umar Khattab told Dawn that the bodies were found in the study.
Bijrani's body was found lying on a sofa in a small study room while a pistol was lying at his feet, Khattab said, adding that Fariha's body was found lying on the floor near the room's door. Fariha was Bijrani's second wife, and the couple married in 2010.
Earlier in the day, the Bijarani family had confirmed the PPP minister's death. Police officials reached the site and said that the case was being investigated from all possible angles.
A post-mortem examination was performed on the couple's bodies at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).
JPMC Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali told Dawn that Fariha sustained three bullet wounds on her head, abdomen and leg while Bijarani a received single bullet on his head.
The doctors retrieved one of the bullets from Fariha's abdomen and handed it over to police for investigation.
Khattab told Dawn that four bullets were misfired from a 30-bore pistol — which belonged to the minister — while one bullet was found stuck in the pistol. During their search of the room, police investigators collected two spent bullet casings.
Police guards posted outside the couple's house told the investigators that they did not see anyone entering the home.
According to the CTD official, the guards said that they had heard the sound of quarrelling from inside the house followed by gunshots.
Sources within the police said earlier in the day that a caller on the Rescue 15 helpline told them that two bodies have been found at the Bijarani house.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has asked for a police report on the deaths to be shared with him.
Several members of the PPP, including Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal, reached Bijarani's house as soon as news of the minister's death broke.
Condolences pour in
Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, speaking to DawnNews, shared her shock over the news. "This is a very sad incident. I could never have imagined this could happen. I do not know anything else except that he is not among us right now."
She said it was a "huge loss for the party", adding, "He was an educated individual and a very soft spoken person."
Sindh Minister for Information Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, while speaking to DawnNews, said: This is a sad and terrible day, I still cannot believe such a thing has happened. We were together in the assembly just yesterday."
Taking to Twitter to express her grief over the deaths, PPP MNA Nafisa Shah said: "Heartbreaking news has just been reported [...] This is a big tragedy for the family and the PPP both. My thoughts and prayers are with their families, constituents and our PPP family."
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MNA Arif Alvi also offered his condolences on the deaths. "Very sad to hear about my friends Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and Fariha Razzaq Haroon shot dead. May their souls rest in peace. Met him on Monday last & Fariha came over for lunch to my house on Saturday," he said on Twitter.
Born on July 10, 1946 into a prominent political family, Bijarani completed his Bachelors from National College Karachi, following which he did his LLB from Sindh Muslim Law College and Masters in Political Science.
He had served as a senator as well as an MNA and also held the portfolio of Sindh's education minister. He was elected in 2013 from PS-16 Jacobabad.
Fariha Razzaq was elected a member of the Sindh Assembly in 2002 and held the position till 2007. Her mother Nishat Afza was a member of the Punjab Assembly during the same time; both women contested the elections on PPP tickets.