KARACHI/ISLAMABAD – The ongoing spate of violence in Karachi left another 13 people dead on Sunday as province’s top cop believed that a third force was behind this new wave of violence in the country’s commercial capital.
A father and his two sons were among the unfortunate ones who died in Sunday’s violent episodes as unidentified gunmen continued the spell of target killings, taking the death toll to over 100 in ten days.
Most parts of the city remained tense on the holiday while most of the victims were killed in seatrain attacks. Armed clashes between rival Shia and ASWJ (Ahle Sunnat Wal-Jamaat) sectarian groups also took place during funeral processions of some of those killed in targeted killings.
Sindh IGP Fayyaz Leghari said that a third force was trying to stoke sectarian violence ahead of Muharram. Interior Minister Rehman Malik discussed the situation with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on telephone and directed him to increase police patrolling in the sensitive areas.
On the wee hours of Sunday, thirty-year-old Asad Abbas Naqvi, a son of a slain IB officer, and two of his companions, Wajahat Danish and Omar Farooq, were killed and three others – Zulfiqar, Saad and Hassan – were injured in an attack, believed to be seatrain in nature.
Four armed motorcyclists sprayed bullets on the victims as they were sitting near their homes in FC Area in the limits of Sharifabad police station. They were taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. IB officer Qamar Abbas Naqvi was gunned down about three months ago also in the same area in a sectarian attack.
A reporter of news channel and three others were injured during crossfire between the Shias and ASWJ activists near Sohrab Goth when the funeral procession of Asad Abbas Naqvi was heading towards Wadi-e-Hussain graveyard located at Super Highway.
Police officials said that the participants of funeral procession clashed with rival group members who had arrived at Edhi morgue in Sohrab Goth to receive the body of ASWJ local leader Maulana Irfan, who was gunned down on Saturday evening in North Nazimabad. Extra contingents of Rangers and police reached the site and controlled the situation.
In another incident, four armed men on two motorcycles targeted Zarar Hussain, 52, and two of his sons, Sajjad Hussain, 28, and Imdad Hussain, 25, in Orangi Town in Pakistan Bazaar Police remits. The victims were sitting at their shop when they were attacked and they died at the spot.
Their employee Farhan was also injured in the attack. The bodies were taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for autopsy. Following these killings, scores of people staged a protest against the incident in Orangi Town. They also set a passenger bus on fire at Old Golimar Chowrangi during their funeral.
A man belonging to Shia sect was gunned down in Jamshed Quarters Police remits. Deceased Syed Mukhtiar Zaidi was shot four times and he died at the spot. Another Shia man, Haider Abbas Rizvi, was gunned down by two armed riders outside his home in Soldier Bazaar Police limits, SHO Amjad Kiyani said.
In Sultanabad area of Mangopir police station, a man walked into the Taqwa mosque and killed a cleric. Police said that gunman shot Haroon Rashid at point blank range and managed to flee. The cleric died on the way to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Doctors handed over the body to the family after autopsy while police suspected it too was a sectarian killing.
In Orangi Town, a supporter of Awami National Party (ANP) was gunned down near Banaras Flyover in Pirabad Police precinct. Deceased Imran, 45, hailed from Swat. He was sitting at a Naswar shop when two armed men shot at him twice and escaped, police said.
In another act of targeted killing, Ameen, 28, son of Jamal, was gunned down by two armed men on a motorcycle when he was sitting outside his home in Khyber Chowk in Mochko Police remits. Police suspected that the incident occurred over personal enmity. His body was taken to Civil Hospital, Karachi.
A young man, yet to be identified, was found dead from Sarafa Bazaar in Kharadar area. Police said the deceased was kidnapped and later shot in the head and his body was dumped at a deserted place. Another unidentified young man was gunned down by two armed motorcyclists in Sohrab Goth when he was going somewhere on his bike.
Sindh Inspector General Police Fayyaz Leghari has constituted a special investigation team under District East DIG Shahid Hayat to ensure speedy probe into the targeted killings of six seminary students, who were gunned down in Gulshan-e-Iqbal on Saturday evening when they were sitting at a teashop near their seminary. SSP Naveed Khawaja, SSP Niaz Khosa, a DSP and the SHO concerned are the members of the probe team.
IGP Fayyaz Leghari said that additional police officers have been deployed in the city and situation will soon be brought under control. He said the sectarian strife was increasing in the city ahead of Muharram. Fayyaz Laghari said that a third force was also hatching conspiracies to deteriorate law and order situation by raising anti-Shia and anti-Sunni emotions among the orthodox believers of both the sects.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday via telephone discussed current law and order situation in Karachi with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah. He directed the chief minister to increase local intelligence and patrolling of police in the sensitive areas of the city.
They also discussed ways to improve the situation and reiterated that efforts to destabilise the government and the country would be thwarted. The interior minister also directed the CM to take targeted actions with the help of the people against the miscreants. He said the federal government was providing every possible assistance to the provincial government for maintaining law and order situation.