KARACHI: May 12, 2007 was certainly a sad day for Karachi. I was also on the road that day and was driving to Karachi’s II Chundrigar Road via Sharea Faisal. On my way back, I found the road blocked just before Gora Qabristan. A procession of a political party was heading towards the Sindhi Muslim intersection but could not proceed further because obstacles had been placed on the road.
The procession had stopped some distance from the Aisha Bawany School. I stopped by at a building opposite the school. I could see several press photographers taking pictures. A few minutes later, we saw a white Suzuki hi-roof van coming from the direction of the FTC building. It stopped at the entrance of Bizerta Line (the area is a stronghold of a political party). A man clad in white shalwar kameez got out of the van and he had a pistol in his hand.
A photographer was taking pictures but the man did not try to hide from him. In fact, he walked past him and began shooting, emptying a clip. After that he hid behind a telephone cabinet box which was adjacent to the wall of the graveyard. Meanwhile the hi-roof that he had come in had taken a u-turn and was waiting — presumably to drive him away. The man fired some more rounds and went back to the hi-roof which then drove away.
People living in Bizerta Line were made to feel as if they were being attacked by the processionists, even though this didn’t appear to be the case. In a minute or so, armed men emerged from the lane and began firing at the procession. About 20-30 shots were fired and there were casualties.
What I could interpret from this was that the fatal shootings were, in fact, incited by the man who had come in the hi-roof and had fired first. More than five years have passed and I wonder if this man was ever identified and caught.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2012.
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