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February 17, 2020

ANP seeks security after three attacks in a week


February 17, 2020

Expressing their concerns over three attacks on their leaders in a week, the leaders of the Awami National Party (ANP) in Sindh have demanded of the government and the law enforcement agencies to provide security to the party leaders.

The ANP has described the attacks as a conspiracy to disturb the peace in the city. Just in a week, three ANP leaders came under attack in separate incidents in the metropolis.

On Friday, unknown assailants killed Zafarullah Afridi, an ANP’s leader and a transporter, in broad daylight in Saeedabad locality in Karachi’s District West. Afridi was a former member of the ANP’s central executive committee and brother of Karachi Transport Ittihad's secretary-general Syed Mehmood Afridi.

On February 10 (Monday), ANP District West’s former secretary-general Murad Khan was injured in an attack in Ittehad Town area. It was the second attack on Khan. In December 2014, Khan was severely injured in an attack on his car in Orangi Town area.

A day ago on February 9, ANP Sindh’s secretary-general Younas Bunariee also came under attack outside his residence in Gulshen-e-Jamal area. Fortunately, he was unhurt in the attack.

‘Attacks cannot shatter resolve’

The killing of Afridi and attacks on ANP leaders have increased a sense of insecurity among the party workers in the metropolis, the party leaders maintained.

Bunairee said the ANP Sindh had demanded the government and the law enforcement agencies to probe the incidents separately and arrest the culprits who wanted to disturb peace in the city.

“The cowardly acts by anti-peace elements have further strengthened the party’s commitment and resolve for the cause of peace in Karachi,” Bunariee told The News. “The city cannot tolerate more bloodshed and chaos.”

He said these incidents had created a strong sense of insecurity among the party leaders and workers. “Instead of providing security to our leaders and members, the government has withdrawn security from leaders of the ANP whose several members and leaders have been murdered in terrorist attacks in the city in the past” he said.

‘Not terror-related incidents’

Although dozens of the ANP leaders have been killed by Taliban militants in the city’s Pashtun-populated neighbourhoods in the past, police officials say the recent attacks, especially the killing of Afridi, do not appear to be terrorism-related incidents.

Over 100 activists and leaders of the ANP have fallen victim to the Taliban attacks. They include four ANP district West presidents – namely Saeed Ahmed Khan, Ameer Sardar, Dr Ziauddin, Haji Saifullah Afridi – and general secretary Advocate Hanif.

However, police say the cases are being investigated from different angles, including a possibility of targeted killing, personal enmity, and robbery.

“We are probing the recent incidents, especially the killing of Afridi and the attack on Khan, in District West from the angles of targeted killing, robbery and personal enmity,” said a senior police officer. However, he said, it seemed the attacks were not related to terrorism and militancy.

Strike against Afridi’s killing

The Karachi Transport Ittehad has called a meeting at their office on Monday (today) to announce a strike against the killing of Zafarullah Afridi, adds our correspondent.

According to the police, the incident took place when two men riding a motorcycle intercepted him in Baldia Town where he was walking along with his son.

Police said they were investigating the incident as a suspected case of mugging, adding that the attackers took with them Afridi’s licensed, Rs115,000 and his cell phone before fleeing from the scene.

The man was taken to the Civil Hospital Karachi for medical treatment where he succumbed to his injuries. The family and the transporters community later staged a protest against the killing, saying the police had failed to curb crimes in the area. The police said a case had been registered and an investigation was under way.