Image source: Dawn
From The News:
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MNA and National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Abdul Qadir Patel announced his resignation from both posts on Saturday to protest the murder of his coordinator, Eidi Amin Khaskheli and another PPP activist, Abdul Ghani Wachani. The two men were gunned down early Saturday morning in Mowach Goth.
Talking to journalists at the Civil Hospital Karachi where the bodies were brought, Patel said that everyone knew who was involved in these killings, but he “did not want to indulge in the blame-game” because it may “spoil the atmosphere.” He said that he was announcing his resignation because he had failed to protect the lives of the people of his constituency. He would, however, strive for peace in the city
From The News:
Eidi Amin Khaskheli, who was gunned down late Friday night in Mowach Goth along with his colleague, Abdul Ghani Wachani, was considered a prominent social activist and a diehard Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) worker from Keamari Town.
Born in Karol Lane, Lyari, he had joined the PPP because his family elders were very inspired by Z.A Bhutto and then Benazir Bhutto. Khaskheli was also instrumental in victory of PPP MNA Abdul Qadir Patel. The constituency was originally a PPP stronghold, but several factors had led to the seat being won on a rotation basis by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA). One senior activist who wished to not be named said that Patel may have been the first PPP candidate belonging to Karachi. Before him, all PPP candidates were ‘outsiders’ and enraged PPP activists were opposed to the party leadership’s policy of granting tickets to ‘others,’ including Gen. (retd) Naseerullah Baber. Patel won the National Assembly seat because a significant portion of the population belonged to the Khaskheli community — this is where Eidi Amin Khaskheli was instrumental, said his friend and relative Professor Abdul Sattar.
Khaskheli’s family had shifted to Mowach Goth from Lyari, where he was the most committed worker of the party. Being a football player, he also organised football tournaments in the area and arranged kits for the players. “He was a good social and political worker,” said his friend and former union council (UC) Nazim, Mohammed Yaqub.
Yaqub said Amin Khaskheli were was also attacked some days ago. Yaqub recalled how he, along with Amin and other friends were watching the semi-final between Australia and Pakistan during the T-20 world cup when unknown people shot at them near the Police Training Institute, Saeedabad. He said they escaped the attack by crawling on the road. An FIR (478/2010) into the incident was also lodged at the Saeedabad police station and the TPO concerned was fully aware of the matter.
Sattar said that Amin Khaskheli was different from activists of Lyari who have a particular style. In fact, his attitude was of an old-fashioned ‘comrade and leftist’ who was always available for the people at any time to help them get their problems resolved. It is because of this reason that Qadir Patel appeared to be more saddened than his real relatives, Sattar said, adding that Amin Khaskheli was killed by ‘negative forces’. Yaqub said that Amin has no personal enmity, and his murder may have been politically motivated; or criminal gangs against whom he struggled may have been involved.
Amin struggled to save the ‘Mowach Goth’ graveyard. When a boundary wall was being constructed to pave the way for constructing shopping plazas on Hub River Road, Amin fought against it. He also struggled for Lyari Expressway affectees and when several families were denied promised houses in Musharraf Colony, he helped them get settled in Mowach Goth, said Sattar.
His uncle, Mohammed Umer Lasi said that they originally belonged to Lasbella and their forefathers migrated to Lyari.
One relative said that the party did not give Amin Khaskheli due consideration. He remained associated with Qadir Patel because the latter has been concerned about the problems of the people of suburban communities. When some notables of the area joined Sardar Ghulam Mustafa Khaskheli’s organisation, Amin Khaskheli refused to change his loyalty and remained associated with the party.
He was laid to rest in the community graveyard in Mowach Goth, where hundreds of people, PPP activists, social workers and area influential participated. He left behind a widow and two children. —IA
Two PPP men shot dead in Karachi stronghold by Imran Ayub
KARACHI: Two senior members of the Pakistan People’s Party — including a close aide to National Assembly member Abdul Qadir Patel — were gunned down in a Saeedabad locality in the early hours of Saturday, causing the ruling party MNA to announce that he was resigning his seat in protest over what he described as non-stop targeted killings.
The deadly incident took place in Sikandarabad, where Eidi Amin, the coordinator to MNA Abdul Qadir Patel, along with fellow party worker Ghani Bachani, was having a chat close to their homes after returning from the party’s area office.
The latest double murder pushed the death toll to 10 — all PPP activists — in the National Assembly’s constituency 239 since February 2010, where Abdul Qadir Patel emerged winner with 56,480 votes with Dr K.S. Mujahid Khan Baloch of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement as the runner-up.
“Since February 2008, each and every polling agent of my election has been murdered one by one,” Mr Patel told reporters outside the Civil Hospital Karachi, naming some eight victims in his constituency before the latest killing of his aides. “We are being trapped day by day and I know the people behind the killings but I don’t want to get involved in any controversy.”
As in other incidents of targeted killing, the police appeared least effective in the Saeedabad incident, where the investigators have not yet moved forward to gather credible clues.
“It’s (Sikandarabad) a poor neighborhood behind the police training school in Saeedabad,” said Inspector Raja Tariq, the SHO of the Saeedabad police station. “It was between 1.45am and 2am when two men riding a motorbike emerged and fired multiple shots, killing the two men on the spot.”
The investigators said they were still unclear about the exact mode of the killings as they could not get an eyewitness account that caused them to rely mostly on people’s assessments and speculation.
“But we have traced that there were two men riding a single motorbike. We have collected a number of casings of spent bullets from the crime-scene that shows that a 9mm pistol, or pistols, was used in the shooting. There is no clue that either both riders shot at the victims, but the number of empty bullet casings indicate that more than one pistol was used in the firing,” added Inspector Tariq.
The news of their senior colleagues’ killings attracted a large number of PPP workers at the Civil Hospital Karachi, where the bodies were taken for medico-legal formalities. The doctors found the two men hit in their chest, head and face from a very close range.
Amid sobs and tears, PPP MNA Abdul Qadir Patel briefly spoke to party workers asking them to stay calm, before announcing his resignation from the lower house of parliament and as the chairman of the National Assembly’s standing committee on the interior before the media outside the CHK.
“I should first have asked the party’s leadership before reaching such a decision, but I think one should not carry on politics of reconciliation over dead bodies,” he said with tears in his eyes and dozens of party workers surrounding him.
“I decided to resign as MNA, conceding my failure to protect the people of my own city, who were killed at their doorsteps. And this is not the first time that the targeted killings spree has claimed more than 30 lives in two/three days. It keeps returning time and again but unfortunately we have been unable to address the problem.”