KARACHI: A monetary dispute among business partners claimed three lives here on Tuesday.

Atif Zaman called Mureed Abbass, anchorperson at Bol TV, and Khizar Hayat, another man in his early 30s, at separate places in Defence’s Khayaban-i-Bukhari area to “resolve a dispute over delayed payments from their joint business”.

The investigators said that Hayat was asked to reach Zaman’s office while Abbass was told to wait for him in an area close to the facility. Both victims, they said, were waiting for their due share of payment for two months which remained a bone of contention between these two and Zaman.

“When Hayat reached Zaman’s office who pulled out a pistol,” said SP Clifton Shiraz Nazeer. “He fired shots at Hayat leaving him in a pool of blood and he fell unconscious. Zaman then moved to the place Abbass was waiting for him in his car as per Zaman’s directives. Within a few seconds of meeting Abbass, Zaman pulled out a pistol and shot Abbass multiple times and ran away. Both the injured were separately taken to a private hospital in Clifton where the doctors pronounced them dead.”

The news of the killings of two young men with one associated with the media fraternity hit the news channels triggering a debate and speculations over social media which finally ended after the police issued a video statement of Abbass’s wife narrating the details and motive behind the incident.

“I received a call from Mureed at around 8pm who said that he was going to Atif Zaman’s office to collect his money,” she said with tears rolling down her cheeks.

“We had invested in Atif Zaman’s business who was an importer of tyres. However, for the past two months he was not paying us profit and our investment was also at stake. He owed us around five million rupees,” she said.

It didn’t end here as the police after collecting details raided the office of Zaman which was found locked. The police party, the officials said, then moved to his home in Khayaban-i-Nishat in Defence where the story took another turn.

“When we reached his [Zaman’s] home, we found his body in a pool of blood and there was no other person. He shot himself in the heart with the same pistol he used to attack his two business partners. All three bodies were taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities,” said SP Nazeer.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2019