–Ex-MQM lawmaker shot multiple times in neck, torso; his father sustains injuries in ‘targetted attack’
–Farooq Sattar lashes out at govt for not taking preemptive measures amid deteriorating law and order in city
–Prime Minister Imran, CM Murad take notice of assassination, seek report on matter
–Condolences pour in from political quarters; PPP chief, PML-N condemn Abidi’s murder
Former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MNA Ali Raza Abidi was killed in a shooting in Defence area of Karachi on Tuesday in what police officials claim to be a target killing incident.
According to media reports, at least nine shots were fired as Abidi left his vehicle right outside his residence. One of the bullets hit him in the arm, two in the neck and four in the chest, an initial postmortem report revealed.
His condition was stated to be critical when he was shifted to hospital. However, he breathed his last later on in the hospital, DIG South said in a statement.
His father Ikhlaque Abidi was also injured in the incident and is currently under treatment.
SSP South Pir Mohammad Shah said the shooting incident took place in Defence’s Khayaban-e-Ghazi area.
Abidi had gone there to meet his relatives. He was returning to his home when unknown assailants opened fire on his vehicle. The former MQM lawmaker was first shifted to Jinnah Hospital, and later to Shifa International Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
SATTAR LASHES OUT AT GOVT:
Speaking to media outside Jinnah Hospital, former MQM-P leader Farooq Sattar said Abidi was not only an asset for Karachi, but for the country as well. He said the former lawmaker was informed about the threat to his life four days ago, adding that Abidi’s assassination was a display of cowardice and savagery.
Pointing to a wave of unrest in the city, Sattar questioned why were not security measures taken after the recent killing of PSP activists in the city. He criticised the federal and provincial governments for not taking preemptive measures for the security of the people after the recent incidents.
The former MQM-P leader maintained Abidi’s murder was a targetted killing.
Speaking to a private media outlet, Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) chief Mustafa Kamal termed the assassination a huge tragedy and a conspiracy to once again deteriorate Karachi law and order situation.
He termed it a major setback to the difficultly-achieved peace in the city.
Commenting on the assassination of the former party affiliate, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhter said it was a tragic incident. He said there had been security threats to many individuals.
“Threatening calls are received from different numbers,” the mayor said, calling for a review of the decision to withdraw security from individuals who had threats.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, on the other hand, took notice of the incident and has asked Sindh IG to present a report on the incident. According to the chief minister’s spokesperson, Shah also directed constituting a special team to investigate Abidi’s murder.
Meanwhile, heavy contingents of police and Rangers reached the residence of the former MNA and placed security cordons there. The law enforcers also collected circumstantial evidence from the scene.
PRIME MINISTER SEEKS REPORT:
Prime Minister Imran Khan also expressed profound grief over the assassination of the former lawmaker and summoned a report on the matter.
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also strongly condemned the former lawmaker’s killing. He expressed grief and said that Abidi always played an effective role in politics.
‘WELL-MANNERED, EDUCATED LAWMAKER’:
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb also condemned the incident and demanded a high-level inquiry to arrest the culprits.
“Ali Raza Abidi was a well-mannered, educated political worker and parliamentarian who presented his point of view with great conviction and logic,” she said.
PPP CHIEF DEMANDS ARREST OF CULPRITS:
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto extended condolence to the bereaved family, while strongly condemning the incident.
“Ali Raza Abidi’s killing is a conspiracy to disrupt Karachi’s peace and law and order situation in the country,” said Bilawal Bhutto.
“The real culprits behind Abidi’s killing should be arrested,” he said.
Abidi was elected as an MNA on MQM’s ticket in 2013 general elections. He, however, joined the Pakistan faction of the party after it split into two following anti-Pakistan tirade by the party supremo during a telephonic address with party workers in Karachi in August 2016.
The lawmaker resigned from his National Assembly membership in November 2017 citing “political and personal reasons”.
The resignation came days after Abidi announced quitting the MQM-P after it entered into an electoral alliance with the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP).
He, however, later rejoined the MQM-P in December 2017, before finally leaving the party in September this year.