Two MQM workers sentenced to death for murder of PTI leader

Two MQM workers sentenced to death for murder of PTI leader
Zahra Shahid was the provincial vice president of Imran Khan’s party in 2013. (Photo courtesy: Insaf tv)
Updated 31 August 2018

Two MQM workers sentenced to death for murder of PTI leader

Two MQM workers sentenced to death for murder of PTI leader
  • Prime Minister Imran Khan said he holds “Altaf Hussain directly responsible for the murder” as he had “openly threatened PTI workers and leaders through public broadcasts”
  • Rangers’ prosecutor, Mushtaq Jehangiri, says both men, Mohammed Rashid and Zahid Abbas, were associated with Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) London faction

KARACHI: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Karachi on Friday sentenced two men associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to death over the murder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) leader Zahra Shahid Hussain.
Hussain was killed on May 18, 2013, hours before polling began for the byelections of NA-250 in which the PTI’s presidential candidate Dr. Arif Alvi was elected as a member of National Assembly (MNA).
Rangers’ prosecutor Mushtaq Jehangiri told Arab News that the two men, Mohammed Rashid and Zahid Abbas, were associated with MQM’s London faction.
The ATC judge Naseem Akhtar, who handed down the verdict, said two other accused, Irfan Ahmed and Kaleem, were acquitted as the charges leveled against them were not proven.
A PTI leader hailed the court verdict. “As you sow so shall you reap,” Ali Zaidi, PTI leader and MNA from Karachi, told Arab News.
An MQM-P leader who requested anonymity told Arab News: “If someone has committed a crime, he should be punished.”
“If the families of the condemned workers believe they have been wrongly convicted, they should move the appeal to the Sindh High Court (SHC). MQM-P, however, doesn’t support any wrongdoing let alone a murder,” he said.
Jehangiri told Arab News that both convicted men enjoyed the legal support of MQM. “MQM has been using different tactics from day one. They threatened the family so to the case does not proceed,” he said, adding that after Aug. 22, it was the London group that would extend help.
The Rangers’ prosecutor said that after being repeatedly threatened, the family of the PTI leader left the country.
Imran Khan, PTI chairman, had accused the MQM chief of killing Hussain.
In other tweets, the PTI chief, now prime minister of Pakistan, said he also held the British government responsible as he had warned them about a British citizen who had issued threats to PTI workers.
PTI’s women’s leader and incumbent minister for human rights, Shireen Mazari, declared the incident an act of terror and a failure on the part of the provincial government.
“Imran Khan had requested the government take action against MQM and Altaf Hussain for issuing threatening statements and inciting violence in the country, but no action was taken,” she said.
MQM-London did not respond to Arab News.