Doctor shot dead in Karachi's Gulshan-i-Iqbal area

August 30, 2019

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Police are considering sectarianism as a possible motive behind the murder. — AFP/File
Police are considering sectarianism as a possible motive behind the murder. — AFP/File

A doctor belonging to the Shia community was shot dead in Gulshan-i-Iqbal on Friday, said police.

According to police, Dr Haider Askari, 58, was gunned down by two armed pillion riders at KDA Market, Block- 3, near Disco Bakery, while he was driving his car.

According to Gulshan SP Shahnawaz Chachar, the incident occurred at around 12:30pm when the doctor, a cardiac specialist, was on his way to his Gulshan-i-Iqbal residence after getting off from work at a government hospital in Korangi.

He sustained a single bullet wound on his left shoulder and was taken to Aga Khan University Hospital where he died during treatment. Later on, his body was taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) to fulfil legal formalities.

The Gulshan SP said investigators were focusing on two possible motives behind the murder: sectarian killing or a robbery bid.

The officer opined that since the victim belonged to the Shia community and owing to the timing — with the month of Muharram around the corner — they could not rule out sectarianism as a possible motive behind the incident.

The killing might also be the outcome of an attempted robbery, he said.

SP Chachar quoting witnesses said that armed pillion riders had instructed Dr Askari — who had been driving alone — to stop his car. As he accelerated in an attempt to escape, the suspects fired a single shot. The investigators collected one spent bullet casing fired from a 30-bore pistol from the crime scene.

This was the second murder of a doctor in the city this week.

Dr Ayesha, an expatriate Pakistani, was gunned down ostensibly for resisting a house robbery by four armed men in Gulistan-i-Jauhar area.

The victim had come to the city to attend the marriage ceremony of a relative when she was murdered.

MWM condemns sectarian killing

Meanwhile, Majlis-i-Wahdat Muslimeen condemned the incident, terming it a "targeted killing".

"The sectarian killing of a Shia community member in Karachi prior to Muharram-ul-Haram is regrettable," said Allama Baqar Zaidi, expressing fear that such an incident might trigger a wave of such killings.

The MWM urged the federal and provincial governments to take notice of the matter and apprehend the killers immediately.