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February 12, 2019

Attack on MQM-Pakistan office leaves activist dead

Karachi

February 12, 2019

A couple of days after Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) leader Mir Atiq Talpur escaped an attack on his life, a political worker was killed and another man injured when unidentified armed motorcyclists attacked an office of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) in New Karachi on Monday night.

The unidentified suspects opened fire on the office of Union Council (UC) No 6 in New Karachi, which, according to an SHO, also housed the MQM-P office. A party worker, Shakeel Ansari, and a gardener, Azam, were wounded as a result of the firing.

Ambulances of various welfare organisations reached the site and shifted the injured to Abbassi Shaheed Hospital where Ansari succumbed to his injuries during treatment. Contingents of police and Rangers also reached the site to investigate the incident.

SHO Khushhal Khan said the building which was targeted in the attack was basically a UC office but it was also being used as an MQM-P office. He added that the police had seized empty bullet shells from the crime scene, which would be sent to the forensic division of the Sindh police for ballistics cross matching.

According to initial reports, at least two armed men with their faces covered attacked the MQM-P office. Following the incident, several party leaders and workers gathered at the site and condemned the firing. The MQM-P leaders and workers demanded immediate arrests of the suspects involved in the incident. Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam also took notice of the firing incident and sought a detailed report from the police officials concerned.

Incidents of attacks on leaders, workers and offices of political parties have witnessed a surge in Karachi as more than five such cases have so far occurred in the city in less than three months, all of which are yet to be solved. The unsolved cases include the targeted killing of former MQM MNA Syed Ali Raza Abidi.

On December 9, 2018, at least six people were injured in an explosion in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar area, which targeted a Milad organised by the MQM-P near Perfume Chowk in Block 18 of Gulistan-e-Jauhar. MQM-P Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, who is also the federal IT minister, and another leader of the party, Khawaja Izharul Hasan, were present at the event at the time of the blast but remained unhurt.

A few days after the explosion, former MQM leader Syed Ali Raza Abidi, who had also served as an MNA, was shot dead in the Defence neighbourhood on December 25 when two unidentified assailants riding a motorcycle opened fire on his car near his residence on Khayaban-e-Ghazi in Defence Housing Authority Phase V.

A day before Abidi was killed, two workers of the PSP were shot dead in an attack on a PSP office in Rizvia Society on December 24. It was reported that around a dozen men riding six motorcycles were involved in the attack who fled the scene.

On February 9, PSP Sindh Secretary General Mir Atiq Talpur escaped an attack on his life on Khayaban-e-Shahbaz in DHA Phase VI while he was out for dinner with his family. Three young men whose faces were covered had approached Talpur’s car in another vehicle and when the PSP leader tried to escape, they fired at the vehicle, hitting its bumper. Talpur and his family were not hurt in the incident.

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