LAHORE, Feb 18: In what appeared to be a case of sectarian killing, a senior eye surgeon of Lahore General Hospital and his young son were gunned down near FC College on Monday morning.
Professor of Optholmology Dr Ali Haider was going to drop his 12-year-old son Murtaza Ali at Aitchison College on The Mall when he was attacked. Family’s driver Iftikhar was on leave these days for the wedding of his son.
Monday was an important day for them due to the Foundation Day of the Aitchison College and Murtaza had asked his father to join the event.
Murtaza, a class-VI student, was second among his three siblings.
Witnesses and police said two motorcyclists intercepted them near the main gate of the FC College, a few kilometers from their Hali Road residence, and sprayed their car with bullets.
Dr Haider suffered five to six bullet wounds in his head and neck and died on the spot while his son received a bullet in the head and expired on way to Services Hospital, the police said.
Prof Ali Haider was known as a non-controversial professional and respected by the medical community as a dedicated teacher and patient-friendly senior doctor. The victims’ family declared it a target killing and held the government responsible for it.
“My son has been killed for being a Shia and a dedicated follower of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him),” Prof Dr Syed Zafar Haider told Dawn. A retired professor of surgery, Dr Zafar is also a known professional.
He said Murtaza was to get first prize in a ceremony at his college on Monday for his distinctive position. He said the boy was a topper in curricular and extra-curricular activities in the college.
A father of three (two sons and a daughter), Dr Ali Haider was the son-in-law of Dr Iftikhar Ali Raja, ex-principal of the King Edward Medical College, and a nephew of former Federal Shariat Court judge Syed Afzal Haider.
Lahore DIG (Operations) Tahir Rai said the possibility of sectarian terrorism could not be ruled out.
He said the police were investigating the case on various leads.
He said a case had been registered under sections 302/324/34 of Pakistan Penal Code and 7-ATA against two unidentified men on the complaint of Iftikhar, driver of the victim family.
Model Town SP (Operations) Malik Awais said a kalashnikov was used in the incident. He said a pillion rider fired on the car near FC College.
Malik Awais claimed driver of the family was present in the car and survived the attack being on the back seat.