The funeral prayers of former MQM leader Syed Ali Raza Abidi, who was shot dead in Karachi's DHA area on Tuesday night, were offered on Wednesday afternoon.
Abidi's funeral prayers led by Allama Hassan Zafar Naqvi were offered at the Imambargah Yasrab and attended by relatives, friends, and political and social figures, including MQM-P leaders Farooq Sattar, Khawaja Izharul Hassan and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.
Two unidentified assailants on a motorbike had opened fire on the ex-MNA's car near his residence on Khayaban-i-Ghazi last night. Abidi was alone in his car when the attack took place and was taken to PNS Shifa Hospital by his father where he succumbed to his injuries.
A postmortem examination revealed that Abidi sustained four bullet wounds — two in his chest, and one each in his neck and arm.
Counter-Terrorism Department officer-in-charge of the Transnational Terrorism Intelligence Group (TTIG) Raja Umer Khattab had said yesterday that the attackers appeared to be expert at target killings as they had targeted Abidi within a span of just 10 seconds.
Police launch probe into attack
Abidi's bodyguard was taken into custody as police began investigating the murder, which comes just days after two Pak Sarzameen Party workers were killed in an attack on the party's office in Karachi's Rizvia Society area.
Senior Superintendent Police South Pir Muhammed Shah said that the Crime Scene Unit has collected evidence, and that CCTV footage of the shooting is being analysed to trace the assailants. The footage seen by Dawn.com, shows Abidi's car approaching and then stopping at his residence's gate. Just before the gate is opened, however, two motorcycle-riding assailants stop by Abidi's car. One of the attackers, wearing a cap, gets off the bike and opens fire from the driver's side.
A forensic analysis of Abidi's mobile phone will also be conducted, the SSP added.
Abidi's guard was taken into custody by police. According to the SSP South, the Dera Ghazi Khan native was not trained for the job entrusted to him.
"It's hard to tell what the motive behind the attack is," the SSP said. "Whether it is a personal, political or religious issue. It is being investigated from all angles."
SSP Shah said that a first information report (FIR) of Abidi's murder will be filed on his father's complaint.
CM Sindh concerned over Karachi law and order
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Shah chaired a top-level meeting during which he was briefed on the investigation of the case so far, and was assured that the assailants will be arrested soon.
"I don't want [assurances] that the murderers will be arrested. I want them arrested," Shah asserted.
CM Shah expressed grave concern over the murder of the former MNA and the overall law and order situation in Karachi.
He recalled the attempted attack on the Chinese Consulate, a blast during a milaad arranged by MQM-P earlier this month as well as the recent killing of political workers and said that the situation of the city was "concerning".
"Why is this [situation] not being controlled?" he demanded to know. "I have given security agencies complete freedom but the results are not satisfactory."
The meeting was attended by the provincial chief secretary, Director General Sindh Rangers Muhammad Saeed, Sindh Inspector General of Police Syed Kaleem Imam and officials from law and order agencies.
A politician and restaurateur
Abidi was elected to the National Assembly in the 2013 general elections from Karachi's NA-251 constituency on an MQM ticket.
In November 2017, he had opposed Sattar and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Mustafa Kamal's short-lived alliance, and even announced that he was resigning from his NA seat as "this is not what I believed in and stood for".
Abidi was one of the leaders who had stood with former convener Sattar in the buildup to the 2018 elections when MQM-P was subject to an internal power battle.
He contested the July 25 elections from Karachi's NA-243 constituency, but was defeated by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In September this year, Abidi tendered in his resignation from the MQM-Pakistan's "basic membership" citing "personal reasons".
Abidi studied marketing at Boston University in the United States and also attended Iqra University in Karachi, according to his Facebook profile. He was the owner of the famous Karachi eatery, 'Biryani of the Seas'.
He was quite active on Twitter, with his last tweet coming just four hours before the fatal attack on him.