The city of lights bleed again yesterday evening as erratic incidents of violence erupted in Karachi subsequent to assassination of Raza Haider, an MQM leader and member Sindh Assembly who was shot dead at a mosque in Nazimabad along with his guard by unknown assailants. He was preparing to attend a funeral prayer and was performing ablutions when the gunmen opened fire.
Tension gripped the city of 20 million, the financial hub of country, soon after the incident as miscreants went out on a riot spree of killings and private property destruction not only in Karachi but other cities of the province including Hyderabad and Sukkur. Markets closed down immediately and the masses started rushing to the safety of their homes which created the worst kind of traffic jams on MA Jinnah road and Shahra e Faisal. More than three dozen vehicles were set ablaze while several shops and petrol pumps were torched in Karachi. Media reports late night confirm the number of killings since evening close to 30 and more than 100 injured.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik condemned the incident, urging the people of Karachi to remain calm and peaceful while claiming that the MPA had been receiving threats from a banned organization Sipah-e-Sahaba.
A joint investigation team headed by DIG Police, consisting of representatives of IB, ISI and MI has been constituted to look into the tragedy. MQM leaders Babar Ghauri and Haider Abbas Rizvi expressed deep anguish on the tragic incident.
“It would be difficult to put a cap on the chapter opened (today),” Babar Ghauri asserted.
MQM has announced to observe a three day mourning. All government and private educational institutions across Karachi will remain closed today. Urdu Science University and Karachi University have postponed all exams to be held today while Karachi Board of Secondary Education has postponed the announcement of Intermediate Pre-medical results. The All Karachi Traders Union has announced market closure.
Interior Minister has warned there is a threat of suicide bombing in Raza Haider’s funeral today. ANP and MQM are at war of words regarding the current wave of target killings in Karachi for so long now. The country is in the grip of natural calamities and at this moment government and political parties should vow to put an end to blame game and work towards better law and order situation in the city. Strikes, tension, grief, market closures and killing of innocent lives should not be the talk of the town.
May Allah bring peace to Karachi and bless the deceased and guide their loved ones with peace and tranquility. Ameen