In an apparent sectarian attack, a Shia doctor and his 12-year-old son was shot by unidentified men in Lahore on Monday.
Prof Dr Syed Ali Haider, Head of Ophthalmology Department Lahore General Hospital, died on the spot, while his son, Murtaza, succumbed to his injuries at the hospital, according to the police.
Dr Ali Haider, who lived on Gulberg road, was dropping his son to school Monday morning when he was intercepted by two men on a motorcycle in the jurisdiction of the Gulberg police station.
SP Model Town Awais Malik, while talking to The Express Tribune, added that the men sprayed the victims with bullet. As a result, the doctor received six bullets to his face, head and other parts of his body, while his son Murtaza was shifted to the hospital, where he also died shortly after.
The police official said the attackers fled the scene after the shooting. He said that the incident seems to be a case of targeted killing, but added that the police would constitute a team to thoroughly investigate the incident.
Malik further said that according to the victims’ family, they did not have any enmity with anyone. Officials, however, said that the victims were targeted by members of a banned organisation. The police has shifted the victims’ bodies to a morgue for autopsy and have registered a case against the unidentified attackers.
A number of relatives, colleagues and politicians thronged Dr Ali Haider’s residence after hearing about the incident. They strongly condemned the incident and demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits involved in the murders. Police closed off the main Hali road, where the doctor resided.
The funeral prayers would be held today (Tuesday).
Prof Dr Syed Ali Haider was the son-in-law of late Dr Iftikhar Ali Raja, a neurologist of international fame, who was burned alive when a PIA Fokker aircraft caught fire immediately after take-off from Multan Airport in 2006. “There is no doubt that this assassination is motivated by the sectarian prejudices as Dr Haider Ali like his parents-in-law believed in Fiqah Jafria,” said a family member of the deceased.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2013.