At least 15 armed men ambushed Bilal Sheikh, the security officer of President Asif Ali Zardari, at 2:15 am on Sunday. He was unhurt but two of his police guards were injured.
Sheikh was returning to his house from Bilawal House, Clifton. The 15 men in two cars and motorcycles attacked him close to his house in Firdous Colony.
“My gunman and driver were also in my car while fifteen police guards were in three mobile units behind me,” Sheikh told The Express Tribune.
He said the culprits fired at least two rockets and they also hurled hand grenades at his car. “The rockets and grenades hit my vehicle and the police mobiles. They also opened fire.” The security officer said he remained safe as the guards fired back. One of the suspects was also injured in the crossfire along with Sheikh’s two guards. The two police guards, Sarfaraz and Mehmood, were taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where their condition was declared stable. “They escaped but they left their white Toyota Corolla and some ammunition behind,” Sheikh said. “They also took their injured companion with them.”
He named Lyari gangsters as the suspects. “Recently, I was being threatened by Lyari gangsters belonging to the Uzair Baloch group. They wanted to create [some sort of] controversy between the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement to disrupt the city’s law and order situation,” he explained.
Two of Uzair Baloch’s aides, Shahid Dikkat and Ahsan Mohajir, were leading the attackers and they are the commanders of the Haji Mureed Goth close to Firdous Colony.
After receiving the threats, he had informed Sindh Inspector General of Police Fayyaz Leghari and asked him for protection after which, he was provided the police guards with the three mobiles.
An FIR has been registered against Lyari gangsters under sections 147, 148, 149, 353, 324 of the Pakistan Penal Code and 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act on the complaint of Gulbahar police head constable Shahnawaz.
Following the incident, the police formed an investigation team headed by Anti-Extremist Cell chief SSP Chaudhry Aslam Khan and the team has started raiding areas.
When asked if the attack could be related to a property dispute, Bilal Shaikh said, “I am a security officer of the president and I am mostly in Islamabad. I have no business of property here or anything else.”
The Gulbahar police have impounded the car. Police said that it was snatched from Gulshan-e-Iqbal two days before the incident and the police have recorded the owner’s statement. A rocket launcher, one hand grenade and one TT pistol as well as 250 empty shells were also seized from the crime scene.
Investigators have also recorded the statements of witnesses.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2011.
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