MQM-P worker killed in clash with PPP during election campaign in Karachi’s Nazimabad: police

Published January 29, 2024
A clash erupted between party workers of the MQM-P and PPP in Karachi’s Nazimabad on Sunday night. — DawnNewsTV
A clash erupted between party workers of the MQM-P and PPP in Karachi’s Nazimabad on Sunday night. — DawnNewsTV

An MQM-P worker was killed while a PPP worker was wounded in a clash between the two parties during an election campaign in Karachi’s Nazimabad on Sunday, police said.

Gulbahar Police Station House Officer (SHO) Shabbir Hussain told Dawn.com that the incident took place outside the MQM-P office in the area when a PPP rally was passing through.

He said workers of both parties chanted slogans against each other before getting into a physical altercation that led to firing from both sides.

SHO Hussain said the firing led to the death of an MQM-P worker, identified as 40-year-old Faraz Ahmed Qureshi, while PPP’s Rao M Talha, 22, suffered a bullet injury.

“A mob surrounded the area following the shooting and vandalised two Toyota Vigos belonging to PPP workers before setting them on fire,” the official added.

Hussain said no arrest had been made so far and a first information report (FIR) would be registered after the MQM-P worker’s funeral.

Police Surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed told Dawn.com that Qureshi was brought dead to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital last night with a gunshot to the head. She added that Talha sustained a bullet injury on his left arm.

Meanwhile, West Deputy Inspector General Asim Qaimkhani suggested that the aspect of whether it was advisable for a political party to pass its rally from an office of another party also needed to be looked into.

“It was unsuitable for any party to pass their rally from the office of another party,” he said at a press conference today and urged political leaders to avoid creating such a situation.

DIG Qaimkhani warned of “effective action” if weapons were carried during a party rally/gathering, asserting that no party had permission to carry or display arms.

He said the investigation into the incident was at initial stages and it may not be advisable to talk about it. “The election process is going on and all political parties should demonstrate tolerance,” he stated, adding that such incidents did not bring benefit to anyone.

“I want to warn all political parties on behalf of the state that whoever was involved in such activities, they would be taken to task,” vowed the DIG.

Mustafa Kamal holds PPP’s Asim Hussain responsible

In a press conference today, MQM-P leader Mustafa Kamal pinned the blame for the attack on PPP leader and former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain.

“This is the sixth incident in three months,” he said.

In December last year, the MQM-P had alleged that three party workers were shot dead by PPP “terrorists” during an election campaign in Karachi’s Machhar Colony. MQM-P Deputy Convener Anis Kaimkhani had alleged that PPP workers attacked the party’s workers.

Talking about the latest incident, Kamal said PPP workers were removing MQM-P flags at Nazimabad’s Multi Chowk Road and attacked party workers when they tried to stop them.

Kamal claimed that PPP workers left after a physical fight only to return later, “armed with Kalashnikovs”. He added that a video of the entire incident was available.

“When the PPP terrorists returned, they had four police mobiles with them. They came on Dr Asim’s call and martyred our worker,” Kamal alleged, adding that PPP workers fled after killing Qureshi and left their vehicles behind.

“This is the last time I am saying that I will not let my workers get harmed any more,” he asserted. Kamal further warned that the MQM-P would take the matter into their own hands if the state failed to protect them.

“Dying is not a problem for us […] we don’t have anything to lose,” Kamal said.

He also demanded that an FIR should be registered against Dr Hussain, alleging that the PPP leader was a murderer.

Saeed Ghani claims MQM-P workers ‘resorted to terrorism’

On the other hand, PPP leader and former provincial minister Saeed Ghani claimed that MQM-P workers removed wall chalkings and PPP flags from Karachi’s central district.

“All our banners and flags were burnt in North Nazimabad,” he said. “They even sent a cartridge to one of our workers’ homes.”

Ghani added that MQM-P “terrorists” also attacked a party meeting in PS-100 Gulistan-i-Jauhar and threatened PPP workers.

“They picked up the son of our KMC council member Taslim Shabbir and tortured him,” he claimed. “They even tore flags and banners in North Karachi and now they they have started doing this in the entire central district,” Ghani added.

Speaking about yesterday’s incident, the PPP leader said videos of the clash emerging now showed “who instigated the attack and resorted to terrorism”.

“The most unfortunate thing is that the entire incident took place under police watch,” he said. “PPP District Central President Masood Ahsan spoke to the SSP but when things got out of control he reached out to the Sindh Rangers,” Ghani added.

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