KARACHI: Nine people including a Member of Provincial Assembly Sindh, belonging to Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) and his three guards, were gunned down in different incidents of targeted killings in Karachi on Thursday.
According to details, unidentified assailants gunned down MQM provincial lawmaker, Syed Manzar Imam, his driver and two security guards near Nishan-e-Haider Chowk area of Orangi Town Karachi. However, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), while terming it the first step of the “pledge” it had made to protect the people of Karachi from MQM, claimed the responsibility of the killing.
Seven others were also killed in different incidents of violence before and after this shooting in various parts of the city. Two students of Madrassah Ahsanul Uloom Gulshan-e-Iqbal also sustained severe wounds when unknown terrorists opened fire at the Madrassah.
“A member of the Sindh provincial assembly was killed with three of his guards when gunmen on two motorcycles intercepted his car in Orangi neighborhood and shot them with automatic weapons,” SSP Imran Shaukat told newsmen. Police said the gunmen easily fled the scene following the shooting.
After the incident, tensions griped the city as angry protesters took to streets and resorted to aerial firing and forced shopkeepers to pull down their shutters. At least 5 vehicles were set afire in different areas of the city and people rushed home to avoid any potential violent backlash.
The city life which had come to s standstill yesterday evening would remain paralyzed today as traders, transporters and private school association had announced to remain shut. Announcing three days of mourning, MQM Coordination Committee had asked its supporters to remain peaceful. The Private School Association also announced that schools would remain closed today. KTI had announced to keep public transport off the roads while Sindh Tajir Itehad had also declared to shut their businesses.
MQM’s Member of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh, Syed Manzar Imam and his driver and security guards Muhammad Imran s/o Muhammad Mukhtar, Muhammad Imran Khan s/o Muhammad Yasin and Sajid Ahmed s/o Jawed Ahmed were killed on the spot in indiscriminate firing while he was going to his office.
Manzar Imam was 43 and he had left behind his widow, two children, two brothers, three sisters and his mother. He joined Unit 120 of the MQM Orangi Town Sector in 1986 and was considered a senior worker of the party.
His killing was termed a sectarian violence due to his name but the lawmaker belonged to Sunni sect suggesting that he was purely attacked on political background.
Members of the Coordination Committee of MQM Raza Haroon, Wasay Jalil, Dr Sagheer Ahmed, and Saleem Tajik reached Abbasi Shaheed Hospital soon after hearing the news. MQM ministers, MNAs, MPAs, workers and office-bearers of the Orangi Sector and a large number of MQM sympathizers were also present in the hospital.
It was the second shooting of an MQM provincial lawmaker in just over two years in Karachi. The death of MQM lawmaker Raza Haider, on whom seat Imam was elected to Sindh PA, in an ambush in August 2010 sparked a fierce wave of ethnic and politically-linked violence that killed over hundred people.
The spokesman of TTP said that “we had promised protection for the people of Karachi from MQM and that we will continue to take action”. Rather, he added, we would speed up our activities against MQM.
Separately, two seminary students of Jamia Arabia Ahsanul Uloom, 30-year-old Muhammad Harris s/o Arif and 25-year-old Akhter Zaib s/o Shoaib were gunned down by unidentified armed men near Moti Mahal, Gulshan-e-Iqbal area in the limits of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Police Station. The bodies were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities.
27-years-old Rashid Hussain s/o Iqbal, resident of Sikander Goth was gunned down by the unidentified armed men in wee hours in Sikander Goth, in the limits of Sachal Police Station. The body was moved to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for autopsy. Police registered FIR 30/2013 under Section 302 against unidentified men.
A 22-year-old man was gunned down by unidentified armed men near Godown Chowrangi, Korangi Town in the limits of Korangi Industrial area police station. The body was moved to JPMC for autopsy. The identity of victim could not be ascertained.
Separately, the body of a man stuffed in gunny bag was found from Rexor Line Nullah, Old Golimar area in the jurisdiction of Pak Colony Police Station. The body was shifted to ASH for autopsy. Identity of deceased could not be ascertained.
40-year-old Ejaz s/o Nawab Khan died due to natural causes outside his home in Rustam Khan Goth, Gulistan-e-Johar in the premises of Shahrah-e-Faisal Police Station. The body was taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities. Police said he was died due to heart failure. The family members collected the body from hospital without any legal formality.
Meanwhile, 22-year-old Muhammad Izhar s/o Zulfiqar Ali died and 30-year-old Muhammad Jawaid s/o Liaquat Ali wounded in road mishap near Punjab Chowrangi Roundabout in wee hours in the precincts of Gizri Police Station. The body and injured were rushed to JPMC. Both were residents of Landhi Number-4. Police arrested trailer driver Muhammad Azhar and registered FIR 24/2013 against him.
Meanwhile, MQM leader Altaf Hussain strongly condemned brutal killing of MQM MPA Manzar Imam with his security guards in Orangi town.
In a statement issued from London on Thursday, Altaf Hussain expressed his profound and sorrow on the martyrdom of MQM MPA Manzar Imam along with his security guards. He strongly condemned the brutal killing of Manzar Imam and his guards.
He said that the cowardly incident was a vicious attempt to destroy peace and order in the city and earlier MQM MPA Raza Haider was also gunned down but the killers were never arrested. He said that brutal killers were roaming freely and innocent workers of the MQM and general public had been left to their mercy.
Hussain asked the MQM workers and the people not to get provoked on this incident of blatant terrorism. The statement urged them to understand and foil the conspiracy of the elements who wanted to destabilize Karachi. He said that the brutal murder of MPA Manzar Imam was a continuation of the wave of terrorism gripping the country which had engendered a pervading sense of insecurity among common people.
Hussain demanded in his statement to the federal and provincial governments and heads of the law-enforcing agencies to take immediate notice of the brutal murder of MPA Manzar Imam and his guards. He said that the killers must be brought to justice.
Hussain offered heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families and said that their grief was equally shared and felt by each worker of the MQM. He prayed Allah, the Almighty to shower His blessings on the departed soul and give courage and patience to the grieving family members.
Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had strongly condemned the incident of assassination of Syed Manzar Imam, Member Sindh Provincial Assembly from MQM.
The president while expressing grief and sorrow over this unfortunate incident in Orangi town Karachi that resulted into loss of precious lives including Syed Manzar Imam, had directed the authorities concerned to undertake every effort to bring the culprits to justice.
President of ANP leader Asfandyar Wali hold talks with MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain had also vehemently condemned the murder of MPA Manzar Imam and his guards.
Meanwhile, the chief of PML-N, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, and head of ANP, Asfandar Yar Wali, on Thursday telephoned Sindh Governor, Dr Ishrat ul Ebad Khan, and offered condolences on the assassination of MQM MPA, Manzar Imam.
A Governor House statement said that Dr Ishrat ul Ebad Khan also phoned Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to condole the demise of his brother Abbas Sharif.
He also offered condolences on behalf of the MQM chief, Altaf Hussain.
The ANP chief Asfandar Yar Wali also telephoned Dr Ishrat ul Ebad Khan and offered condolences on his behalf and ANP workers over the assassination of MQM MPA, Manzar Imam.
Published on January 18, 2013