KARACHI: Mystery surrounded the case of seasoned Pakistan Peoples Party politician and senior Sindh minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and his wife Fariha Razzak Haroon, a former provincial assembly member and long-time media professional, who were found shot dead inside their Defence house on Thursday.
Speculation swirled around the reason for the deadly episode with police investigators reluctant to describe it either as a double murder or a suicide.
The police’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) official, Raja Umar Khattab, who is investigating the case on the directions of Sindh IG A.D. Khowaja, told Dawn that Mr Bijarani’s body was found on a sofa in a small study room with a pistol — believed to be the weapon used in the killings — lying next to his feet. Around six feet away lay Ms Haroon’s body near the room’s door.
Police guards say they heard a quarrel between couple followed by gunshots
Mr Bijarani was found to have a single bullet wound in his right temple, said Mr Khattab, adding that Ms Haroon had bullet wounds in her forehead, abdomen and leg.
This was corroborated by a post-mortem examination of the bodies, according to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre executive director Dr Seemin Jamali. She said doctors retrieved one of the bullets stuck in the abdomen of the former woman lawmaker — who made it to the Sindh Assembly on a PPP ticket in 2002 — and handed it over to police for investigation.
The CTD investigator said the rusty 30-bore pistol — which belonged to the senior minister — misfired four times while one bullet got stuck in it. Three spent bullet casings were found at the crime scene, he added.
Policemen posted outside the house told the police investigators they had not seen anyone enter the premises.
Mr Khattab quoted the police guards as saying that they heard a quarrel between the couple — who got married in 2010 — followed by sound of gunshots at around 6.30am. The police guards told the investigators they were not sure about the origin of the sound of gunshots — besides they were not allowed to go inside the house — so they stayed put outside.
However, the police guards said they informed a house servant about the quarrel and gunshots when he arrived at around 9.30am. He then called Ms Haroon’s son from her first marriage.
According to Mr Khattab, Ms Haroon’s son entered the room — locked from inside — from the kitchen’s window and found the couple lying dead. Subsequently, the police were informed.
The CTD official said the crime scene — which bore no sign of a quarrel or scuffle — had been sealed and fingerprints collected from there.
Mr Khattab said the son of Ms Haroon — who formerly wrote a column for the The Friday Times and was associated with the Jang media group — was in a state of shock and could not talk to investigators while Mr Bijarani’s son from his first wife came quite late.
He added that the police guards and the servants had been detained for questioning.
Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2018