The chief security officer of the Sindh Minister for Local Government, Agha Siraj Durrani, was gunned down on Wednesday evening in Azizabad.
Thirty-three-year-old Mohammad Imran alias Jangi, son of Manzoor Ahmed Saleemi, was a resident of Block 8, Mohammadi Colony. According to witnesses, he was on his way to Almas Masjid for Asr prayers when he was shot dead. “Clad in shirts and trousers, four young men on two motorcycles opened indiscriminate fire at him and escaped,” witnesses explained. “Two of them wore helmets.”
“He was a brave man and that is why he was my chief security officer,” Durrani, a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party, told The Express Tribune while he was on his way to the hospital. “I condemn his killing and his killers would be arrested and punished soon.”
Only a few people were present at the crime scene because of the World Cup semi-final. “The firing was so intense that we could not see the assailants properly,” witnesses said.
Imran sustained multiple bullet injuries in the head and neck and was taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he was pronounced dead. His body was sent to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for a post mortem. According to the doctors at Abbasi Shaheed, he exsanguinated to death. He was shot three times.
Scores of PPP leaders and workers, including Agha Siraj Durrani and PPP Karachi division deputy information secretary Sohail Abdi, reached the hospital. The infuriated workers and supporters also shouted slogans against a rival political party whom they blamed for the incident. At least five PPP workers, including Imran, have been killed this month.
The Shahenshah link
“Imran was a senior activist,” the PPP’s Sohail Abdi told The Express Tribune. “He was also an aide of Khalid Shahenshah and was a security guard when Shahenshah was alive.” The well known Khalid Shahenshah, similarly shot dead in Clifton in 2008, was the chief security officer for Bilawal House. Shahenshah was also important as he was allegedly a prime witness in Benazir Bhutto’s assassination case. According to reports, Shahenshah was sitting in the back seat of Benazir’s car when she was hit in the gun and bomb attack. He was also interviewed by Scotland Yard.
It was after Shahensheh was killed that Imran started working as the chief security officer for Durrani. Like Imran, Shahenshah also used to live in Azizabad, before he moved to Defence. His killers were never arrested.
Sources said there might be a link between the two murders and this could also be of threat to Durrani.
On the other hand, the police said they were not in a position to comment about any link between Shahenshah and Imran’s killings. Karachi CCPO Saud Mirza said he did not think the two murders were connected. “Imran’s killing is totally different, but it is too early to say anything.” However, he said the police would also investigate from this angle.
Police found at least seven empty shells from the crime scene. “The assailants used 9mm pistols and they missed four times,” said DSP Saleem Akhtar Siddiqi. “It is confirmed that it was a target killing but nothing can be said about the motive.”
Imran’s family is also affiliated with the PPP. His funeral prayers are expected to be held on Thursday.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2011.