Inside the consulate: Afghan diplomat shot dead in Karachi

Afghan ambassador rules out terrorism; says personal row sparked shooting


Faraz Khan February 07, 2017
Muhammad Zaki. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: A security man gunned down an Afghan diplomat on Monday within the premises of Afghanistan’s Consulate General in the upscale Clifton neighbourhood of Karachi in an incident described as an outcome of personal enmity.

“Muhammad Zaki Abdu, an Afghan third secretary, was killed in a firing incident that took place inside the consulate. An Afghan security guard opened fire on Zaki in the lobby of the consulate,” Zone South Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Azad Khan told The Express Tribune. “

The slain diplomat was the brother of Mohammad Abdul, an Afghan lawmaker from northern Balkh province, according to Afghan officials.

Afghanistan has an embassy in Islamabad and three consulate generals – respectively in Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi. These establishments are manned by Afghan security guards.

“The security guard, Rahat Hayat, emptied his sub machinegun into Zaki,” said District South SSP Saqib Ismail Memon. “It is confirmed that the violence took place due to a personal dispute but we are trying to dig out what actually transpired,” he added.

Sources privy to the probe told The Express Tribune that the security guard – deployed at the consulate from the last six months – had a dispute with the third secretary and they had also fallen out some three days ago.

“Following the incident, the guard surrendered himself. The police have taken him into custody and started probing the case. The weapon used in the crime has also been confiscated,” said SSP Memon.

The body of the diplomat was later taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for an autopsy.

Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal has ruled out terrorism in the consulate firing. “It seems to be a personal dispute related criminal act,” Zakhilwal told The Express Tribune.

After the incident, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry telephoned Zakhilwal to express condolences to the Afghan government over this incident and assured full assistance in conducting the necessary investigations. (WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM TAHIR KHAN IN ISLAMABAD]

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2017.

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