KARACHI: A prayer leader was shot dead in what appeared to be a targeted attack in Sachal Goth on Friday morning, police said.

They said as Mohammed Arbab, 55, came out from Minarul Huda Masjid near Murtaza Chowk in Sachal Goth after offering Fajr prayer, armed pillion riders fired at him and rode away.

Police Surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi said that he sustained 11 bullet wounds and was taken to the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi, where he died during treatment.

“It appears to be a targeted killing incident,” said Malir SSP Irfan Bahadur.

However, he ruled out the possibility of a sectarian motive behind the murder.

He said that the victim was a prayer leader/khateeb at a mosque belonging to the Ahle Hadith school of thought and there was no history of targeting men of this faith on sectarian grounds.

The victim’s father was also a prayer leader/khateeb at the same mosque, he added.

Police investigators collected 11 spent bullet casings from the crime scene and sent the same a police’s forensic science lab to ascertain whether the weapon was used in any previous murder cases.

SSP Bahadur said that the investigators got ‘some clues’ about the possible motive of the murder.

Killing may be linked to NAB case

DIG-East Amir Farooqi said that the victim’s elder brother, Arbab Anas, was an official of the Karachi Port Trust. He was also a witness of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a reference against former ports and shipping minister Baber Ghauri and others.

Sources privy to the NAB case told Dawn that the victim’s brother was the human resources manager in the KPT and he was a ‘main witness’ in the case in which former KPT chairman Javed Hanif and some others had already been arrested. Mr Ghauri is still at large.

NAB sources said that the case pertained to alleged 940 illegal recruitments and many of them had alleged criminal record.

They said that prosecution witness Anas had informed them that he and his family was receiving death threats. NAB had also written a letter to Karachi police chief and the Counter Terrorism Department for provision of security to the NAB witness under Section 31-E of the NAB Ordinance and Sindh Witness Protection Act 2013.

According to the letter, obtained by Dawn on Friday, NAB is conducting an “investigation against the officers and officials of KPT on charges of serious offences which include corruption and corrupt practices, misuse of authority and illegal appointments in KPT”.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2019