Wednesday July 17, 2024

Former army colonel killed in Karachi shooting

By Salis bin Perwaiz
April 06, 2017

KARACHI: A retired colonel of the Pakistan Army was gunned down in broad daylight near the Baloch Colony Bridge on Wednesday morning.

The banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Almi claimed responsibility for the attack. However, investigators said they were looking into the claim.

Col (retd) Tahir Zia was shot dead and two passers-by, Rehan and Momin, were injured in the attack that occurred in the Bahadurabad police remit on the Service Lane near the Hafeez Centre on Sharae Faisal.

Station House Officer (SHO) Rao Rafiq of the Bahadurabad Police Station said that acting on information, the police rushed to the spot where they found three persons, including Colonel Zia, lying injured. The injured were rushed to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), where Colonel Zia succumbed to his injuries.

During the investigation, it was found that Colonel Zia had been running a training institute at the above place for the last 17 years where they trained candidates to apply for ISSB tests. He was a resident of Phase-VI, DHA, Karachi.

SHO Rafiq said that on Wednesday morning, as per his daily routine, Col Zia had left his residence for office. He was parking his vehicle when two armed men riding a motorcycle came and fired indiscriminately on Col Zia.

The deceased received five bullet wounds to his chest and head, which became the cause of his death. The SHO added that the terrorists had used a 9mm pistol in the offence and three spent bullet shells were found from the scene of the crime that were sent to the Forensic Division of the Sindh Police.

Investigators termed the murder of Col Zia a part of target killings and added that the victim had retired from the Pakistan Army in 1996 and after retirement he had been running his training institute.

Moreover, they have also developed the CCTV footage of the fleeing suspects and investigations are underway. According to reports, the banned LeJ Al-Almi claimed responsibility for targeting Col Zia.

Talking to The News, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Omer Shahid Hamid, head of Intelligence Wing of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), Sindh, said the murder of Colonel Tahir Zia was part of target killings and they would investigate the murder from all aspects.

Regarding the claim made by the banned LeJ Al-Almi, Hamid said that earlier several claims made by the banned Al-Almi were later found to be not true; however, it was early to reach the conclusion. He said they were also checking involvement of other groups.

On a query, Hamid said that the footprints of the banned Jamaatul Ahrar were found mostly in KPK and Punjab, but in Sindh it was different as here some splinter groups of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), were seen, including those who were inspired by the banned Daesh.

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Sindh, A D Khowaja, took notice of the attack and sought a detailed report from Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) of the East Range, Arif Hanif.

He also directed the SSPs Investigation and Operations East to visit the crime scene and gather information by collecting samples and recording statements of witnesses and catch the perpetrators.