Former Nazim of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Malik Muhammad Khan was apparently targeted in Lyari for speaking against gang war elements during last week’s special meeting called by President Asif Ali Zardari at Bilawal House to review the Lyari situation and development works in the area, sources said.
PPP MNA from Lyari Nabeel Gabol, MPAs, Rafiq Engineer and Dr Salim Hangoro, besides district and city leaders of the party, were invited to the meeting to brief the president about their problems and difficulties.
Khan had informed the president about the actual situation in the area due to the activities of gang war groups. He informed that it was difficult for the PPP workers to work freely as they were also under threat.
He reportedly told the president that the gang war criminals had threatened the PPP workers that they would be killed if they went to Larkana to attend the death anniversary of late ZA Bhutto, as a result the majority of the party workers did not go to Naudero.
He informed Zardari that the gang war chiefs Ameen Buledi, Shabbir Baloch, Baba Ladla, Uzair Baloch and Zafar Baloch were indulged in anti-PPP activities and they also threatened that other political forces would be allowed to work in the PPP stronghold area and subsequently these gang war leaders invited PML-N’s provincial chief Syed Ghous Ali Shah and expressed their consent to join Nawaz League.
PPP circles, especially those who attended the meeting with President Zardari, are highly concerned about their lives. They are afraid that the gang war criminals got the information about what was discussed at the meeting with President Zardari and Malik Muhammad Khan was targeted just to punish him for complaining against the gang war elements.
Malik was organising a protest rally in Lyari on Thursday to lodge protest against the Supreme Court’s verdict against Prime Minister Syed Ysusf Raza Gilani. He was shot in point blank range and it was a clear message to the PPP leaders and activists to keep distance with the party leadership or else they would also meet the same fate.
PPP MNA Nabil Gabol could not enter into his constituency and same is the situation with provincial minister Rafiq Engineer. The party leaders and workers blame former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza for strengthening the gang war criminals, as he used to pay regular visits to Lyari under police escort and hold meetings with these gang war elements. PPP leaders and workers had been repeatedly complaining to their high command about it but nobody ever took the matter seriously and now the situation has reached to a point of no return.
Besides Khan, former MNA Waja Karim Dad and local PPP leader Hasan Soomro were earlier targeted by these elements, the party activists claimed.
Malik was also tortured a few months ago by a gang war leader who threatened him to leave Lyari. Malik, who belonged to Mianwali community, was hospitalized due to serious injuries but neither the government nor the party took any action.
Police reportedly informed the high-ups that the gang war groups have been using women and children as human shields whenever the law enforcement agencies conduct raids in the area.