Another hero lost: Boxing Olympian shot dead in Quetta

Published: June 17, 2011
Police say murder appears to be an incident of sectarian killing. PHOTO: FILE

Police say murder appears to be an incident of sectarian killing. PHOTO: FILE


Boxing Olympian and deputy director of Pakistan Sports Board Quetta centre Syed Abrar Hussain was shot dead on Thursday in what police termed an “apparent” case of sectarian killing.

Hussain, who was born on February 9, 1961 in Quetta, had represented Pakistan in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games. In addition, he had won several accolades for the country, including the 1985 South Asian Games gold medal in Dhaka, as well as the 1990 Asian Games gold in Beijing. The boxer was also the recipient of the Sitara-e-Imtiaz and was awarded the President’s Gold Medal in 1991. Overall, Hussain had won 11  gold, six silver and five bronze medals at national and international events during his illustrious career.

According to eyewitnesses, he was driving home after offering prayers when some men riding a motorbike opened fire on his vehicle. “It could be an incident of sectarian targeted killing, but investigations are under way to trace the culprits,” said DIG (operations) Hamid Shakil.

The Olympian belonged to the Shia community, more than 12 members of which have fallen prey to sectarian violence over the past two months. However, so far no group has claimed responsibility for Hussain’s murder.

His body was later shifted to the CMH to discourage protests.

Commenting on the incident, Hussain’s colleague Naeem Akhat, said: “I was at the Ayub Stadium when someone told me Hussain was lying injured near the main gate. He had no enmity with anyone.”

“Our national heroes are being brutally murdered at public places. I have yet to see the police arrest anyone responsible for such killings,” said Mohammad Ali, one of Hussain’s trainees. Ali said Hussain had refused to transfer to Islamabad because he wanted to serve the people of Quetta.

During his last interview, which was published in the Daily Express on June 10, Hussain had expressed serious concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in Balochistan, particularly the rise in targeted killings in Quetta.  “I am upset and distressed because of the worsening law and order situation which has left a negative impact on sports activities in the province,” he said.

Meanwhile, the country’s boxing fraternity expressed utter shock over Hussain’s murder.

The Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) termed his murder an irreparable loss to the sport. “Abrar was a legend,” PBF Secretary Akram Khan said. “It’s a huge shock.”

Pakistan’s most successful boxer Mohammad Waseem was also dejected. “It’s a huge loss,” said Waseem, who clinched the Commonwealth Games bronze medal last year. “He used to give us valuable tips.”   The PBF has postponed upcoming national tournaments including the NBP National Ranking Tournament which was to start in Quetta from Friday, as well as the Youth Boxing Tournament in Karachi.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (55)

  • umar ilayas
    Jun 16, 2011 - 3:43PM

    is this another sectarian killing? how much more damage will religion cause in our country? islamic fascism has to be reduced from our society if we are to have a bright future.This jihad fasaad has to be eradicated.Recommend

  • Jun 16, 2011 - 3:45PM

    RAW/Mossad/CIA up to no good again eh?Recommend

  • Jun 16, 2011 - 3:46PM

    I want to cry.Recommend

  • S Minhaj Zafer
    Jun 16, 2011 - 3:56PM

    Another victim of SECTARIAN killing..??Recommend

  • Khan
    Jun 16, 2011 - 4:02PM

    Whenever I hear any such news a question comes to my mind Isn’t there any police now a days on Roads? If there are Why can’t they see these people coming on bikes with guns and roaming around … are they deaf & blind?Recommend

  • Natasha Kundi
    Jun 16, 2011 - 4:42PM

    This is ridiculous! I am just speechless!Recommend

  • Jun 16, 2011 - 4:44PM

    And the guy so proudly held the Pakistani flag… let down by his brethren. Most probably sectarian killing.Recommend

  • Chilli
    Jun 16, 2011 - 4:44PM

    We have to correct our house first. We should get out of War on Terror and concentrate on internal security. PPP failed to protect life and property of the whole nation. Recommend

  • Sher Ghazi
    Jun 16, 2011 - 4:48PM

    This is the reward for our heroes in our country.May God Showers his blessing on his soul & give a rest and peace in Jannat-ul-firdos.Ameen Recommend

  • Asadullah Varzgani
    Jun 16, 2011 - 5:06PM

    I do not know, who are theses people? aren’t these people afraid of death themselves? What would they answer? and whome they will face?Recommend

  • Arslan
    Jun 16, 2011 - 5:08PM

    Rest in peace =(
    Why to target such people :/Recommend

  • Imran
    Jun 16, 2011 - 5:17PM

    Pakistan pays its another legend! Recommend

  • jamal alvi
    Jun 16, 2011 - 6:01PM

    this is very sad when persons are killed without any reason , no law , no protection, responsibles are doing nothig , they have ben waiting when GOD will not give them any time to flee , we are unfortunate to see all these and unable to do any thing Recommend

  • aamer awan
    Jun 16, 2011 - 6:04PM

    This is a reward for hero of Pakistan Abrar Hussain Shah.Sorry Mr.Abrar we can’t give u any other thing beside DEATH.Sorry really sorryRecommend

  • Shan e Haider
    Jun 16, 2011 - 6:37PM

    Another victim of sectarian target killings of our (Hazara Tribe) in Quetta, It seems like government is involved in these acts as the extremists flew as always after killing and police & govt fail to spot out these extremists. This time separates us from our Olympian Legend. Abrar Agha may your soul rest in peace.Recommend

  • MAD
    Jun 16, 2011 - 6:43PM

    Why was my comment removed. you;re trying to give it a sectarian angle while i believe it was ethnicity that got him killed by one of the traitorous baloch independence groups.Recommend

  • sash
    Jun 16, 2011 - 7:05PM

    pakistan has become another Iraq….!!!! I wonder…. is there any diff. left b/w the two .. ???Recommend

  • Thinking
    Jun 16, 2011 - 7:08PM

    When will there be a democratic revolution in Pakistan like the ones in Tunisia, Egypt, etc. Who will be Pakistan’s Kemal Ataturk? Pakistan needs to become secular. Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Jun 16, 2011 - 7:21PM

    Very sad. I am utterly speechless.Recommend

  • Roflcopter
    Jun 16, 2011 - 7:36PM

    @MAD, I agreeRecommend

  • Hasan Abidi
    Jun 16, 2011 - 7:54PM

    Mohsin Naqvi, one of the gr8test poets of modern Urdu poetry, and himself a victim of sectarian assasination at the hands of Sipah e Sahaba/ Lashkar e Jhangvi / all the other criminals n accomplices, once prophetically said………


    After around 150 top doctors , over 75 top notch lawyers and some very leading academics………….all gunned down in the past few years , in cold blood by these animals, for one simple reason….they were from a minority sect ( u can do the guessing ) and so deserving a death sentence.

    As a direct consequence to this madness and sensless barbarity, in the name of some twisted religious extremism, some of the most qualified n sought after doctors , lawyers , professors and professionals from other walks of life, who had received death threats or saw a similar fate in store for them, if they continued living in this Land of Pure, chose to do hijrat and were forced to leave their country of birth , their own homeland, just bcoz their own society disowned them and did not stand up to protect their life n honor.

    In essence they were left in a No Man’s Land- stranded, vulnerable, threatened and virtually homeless.

    Whether its attacks on Imambargahs or the most revered shrines, the suicide bombings of places of worship of minorities like Ahmedis or simply daily carnage of 15 year olds blowing themselves in the markets of this unfortunate country at the expense of life n limbs of countless innocents, so that they can hv the ticket to their promised heavens……………we hv come a long way in earning the World’s Most Dangerous Country award………….and not without reason or merit.

    Its not just a heartbreaking tragedy, but an unspeakable shame as well.

    Wat a sorry mess we have made of our country, with no end to this misery in sight.

    It looks like God too has given up on us

    My heartfelt condolences to Mr. Hussain’s family, in this hour of trial n grief.Recommend

  • Mike
    Jun 16, 2011 - 8:09PM

    Is this an example of the large heart that Pakistanis (according to Afridi) have been bestowed with? Recommend

  • rofl
    Jun 16, 2011 - 8:20PM

    RAW at it again.Recommend

  • Rock
    Jun 16, 2011 - 9:23PM

    @rofl: You forgot to add Mossad and CIA. :D Don’t do such mistake in future. Recommend

  • Asif Ilyas
    Jun 16, 2011 - 10:43PM

    Its too bad to see again blood shed in quetta on the name of islam and jihad.what we shows to non-muslim about islam.this secretrain voilance disturbe our society for since 1979.before 1979,differecnes also occured among different sects of religion but with in limit and just up to confrences.i pay salute to our national hero for what he gave to pakistan.Recommend

  • moeed
    Jun 16, 2011 - 11:07PM

    again where is the police oh they must be busy killing innocent people in khrotabadRecommend

  • CB Guy
    Jun 16, 2011 - 11:51PM

    I think its about time the government decided to look into matters of concern, the real ones. With billions of dollars certainly gained in a short stint of 3 or so years, may be they can do some actual work now, well that would help in their next election campaign. That should be a motivation, since public service means nothing. Recommend

  • Mohammad Adil
    Jun 17, 2011 - 12:16AM

    I was 8 years old when I managed to get an autograph from this boxing legend back in 1990 after his successful return from Asian games. Extremely polite and down-to-earth. A charasmatic and inspirational leader of the local sports body. We will miss you dearly, you have inspired many generations of boxers in Quetta. Recommend

  • Mohammad Adil
    Jun 17, 2011 - 12:26AM

    @TightDhoti, @Rofi, @Rock

    yeah blame everyone ELSE. These people are your so-called ‘brothers’, you probably pray together at the same mosque. Next time you should pay more attention to whats going on around you. Recommend

  • Black Rose
    Jun 17, 2011 - 2:11AM

    Another sad news, how many more will die? and those of you who are blaming religion for that, GET A LIFE. its not religion its RELIGIOUS FANATICS who do not understand religion that’s why they are doing that.Recommend

  • syed ali
    Jun 17, 2011 - 3:40AM

    brother idont forgot u. u and i ,brothers as a first day in germany but we are a menRecommend

  • Shabbir Baloch
    Jun 17, 2011 - 3:42AM

    so sad, nationalists or terrorists whoever they are must be stopped at any cost. God bless PakistanRecommend

  • terex
    Jun 17, 2011 - 4:46AM

    shame to the killers ,let it be army,rangers or insurgentsRecommend

  • Zeeshan
    Jun 17, 2011 - 8:34AM

    another one bites the dust.Recommend

  • Kashif ali
    Jun 17, 2011 - 9:04AM

    Another Victim of Baloch Terror Group (BLA).Recommend

  • Jun 17, 2011 - 9:46AM

    So tragic. He was an ICON, a hero for all of us !!

    Where are people like Asma Jahangir and her clan who keep mourning on some fictitious killings of Baloch people.

    Why they are speechless now ? This a real murder in broad day light.

    This is NOT a sectarian killing….

    Some people of her clan must be planning to blame ISI once again.

    BLA has gone a step further to fulfill the set agenda of Global Establishment.Recommend

  • Q
    Jun 17, 2011 - 9:49AM

    Very sad indeed. May his soul rest in peace..Recommend

  • Chilli
    Jun 17, 2011 - 9:57AM

    Baluchistan slipping away through bad ways. How can they fight their rights by doing wrong. Allah is recording every event and culprits will surely go to hell.Recommend

  • Lallu
    Jun 17, 2011 - 10:57AM

    @Khalid Masood:

    Stop this non sense, what is point in bringing in Asma to this? Because of people like you Pakistan is in this condition today. If this is not sectarian killing what is it? Come on.
    How would you assume that she is silent of sectarian killings ?Recommend

  • rashid
    Jun 17, 2011 - 3:41PM

    bleeding heart crying eyes what has pakistan become is this quaids pakistan???Recommend

  • from India
    Jun 17, 2011 - 5:25PM

    when some of my friends here in india wishes to enter into a war with pakistan for 26/11, i tell them only one thing – “why attack when they themselves are ready to kill and be killed in the name of allah ?”Recommend

  • from Pakistan
    Jun 17, 2011 - 7:18PM

    When some of my friends here in Pakistan wishes to know why India tops the list of number of foreign internet users visiting than all other countries on the planet, i tell them only one thing – “maybe because they are obsessed with Pakistan from the minute they are born.”Recommend

  • Mike
    Jun 18, 2011 - 12:44AM

    @from Pakistan
    You might think there is something in Pakistan worth obsessing about. But sadly there isn’t. The reason why Indians read Pakistani newspapers is because we are witnessing an implosion that is approaching critical mass. It is no different than a driver slowing down to see a roadside accident. In all sincerity we wish things improve for the better, but it wont happen until there is a common mans revolution like in Egypt & Tunisia. Recommend

  • Arslan
    Jun 18, 2011 - 1:40AM

    And you had to respond to his comment, instead of the keyboard warrior-like aman ki asha-esque belligerent’s Indian venom, right.
    So: Indian friends, you don’t have the ‘need’ to come here, we’ve 60 years old – as you – and we’ll live longer, surely ; there’s not an implosion in Pakistan, but an explosion of some Indians hidden sentiments, and that’s what we witness here.
    There are other places for ‘from India’s beautiful & useless prose, that’s all, Mike Singh.

  • Saliha
    Jun 18, 2011 - 12:05PM

    @from India:
    With bunch of shame and embarrassment i second u!!! Recommend

  • Hasan Abidi
    Jun 18, 2011 - 2:06PM

    @ Saliha
    @ Mike
    @ From India

    Though ur shame n embarrasement r all but justified, v need to assert ourselves as a nation, by shunning our track record as an aimless/directionless bunch of lost people.

    If u make a reference to my comment of yesterday above, u wd realize that pointing blaming fingers on others is not gonna to lead us anywhere. My friend from India, has some tough words for us, but is hard to challenge the ground realities, that form the basis of his comments, and that of Mr. Mike.

    Its ppl like Mr. Arslan ( above), who r the real culprits of this nation, as their ostritch mindset hampers their ability to sift facts from fiction. They simply refuse to acknowledge the tragedy, that is today’s Pakistan.

    Their vision is so blurred by the fake image of ” enemy hands” , in all that ills this country, that they simply refuse to surrender to the writing on the wall, that we r in a deep deep mess as a country, with our immediate survival at stake.

    But Sailha, having said all of this, at the end of the day, Pakistan is left with Pakistanis to resolve the mess, she find herself in. Like it or not, its us who hv perpetrated self inflicted wounds on the battered n bruised body of our homeland with merciless consistency….wounds of religious bigotry n inteloerance, extremism , lack of education , failure in nation building and obsession with the myth that the whole world is out there to get us.

    With so much on our plate, Pakistan hardly needs to worry abt external threats. The monsters lurking within our folds, demand to be dealt with an iron hand, before v r devoured by them from within………..and gosh r v late in doing that or wat?

    Alarmingly sad predicament, to say the least.Recommend

  • adam
    Jun 18, 2011 - 4:56PM

    enemies always attack on your most precious assets like this, look at many incidences in the country, they never attacked any place like red light areas, where they also have business.Recommend

  • adam
    Jun 18, 2011 - 5:01PM

    when enemies guns talk lounder than their loggic, understand, you are consistantly wining and they are lossing, so they want revenge.Recommend

  • Mike
    Jun 19, 2011 - 1:36AM

    I would go so far as to say this. Far from protecting invincibly, the Nuke arsenal has done grave harm to your country and is directly responsible for the sorry state your country is in today. Islamic terrorists are incrementally getting bolder and getting hold of Nukes is their ultimate aim. Each attack on the army is more brazen than the previous one. Mehran is the perfect example. If the US backed by UN doesn’t confiscate your Nukes the terrorists will(which is entirely possible with the backing of radicalized army personnel). There is simply no way that the civilized world(which includes mainstream sane minded Pakistanis) can allow terrorists to get a hold of Nukes. Recommend

  • S Khan
    Jun 19, 2011 - 6:48AM

    Big question is WHO IS THE ENEMY??
    Incidents like this prove again and again that foundations of Pakistan, two nation theory was wrong.Muslims living in Kafir land are leading more peaceful and prosperous life than in Pakistan.Recommend

  • amjad
    Jun 19, 2011 - 9:58PM

    There are at least 10-20% shias, 3-5% other minorities in Pakistan. This translate into millions of minorities. Are these extremist plans to kill millions? After all these are killed, what is the guarantee that they will not be killing each other on some other pretext. Salafis, Wahabis, Ahle-Hadiths, Deobandi, Barelvis. The list could be endless, as they will find or create a reason to kill. These, people are worse than the “juhla” of Mecca.Recommend

  • munaza
    Jun 19, 2011 - 10:23PM

    who ever maybe involved in the killing of such honored and great men ae such big loosers and cowards that they shoot a person behind heir back who is un armed ….. SHAME on you loosers, u maybe lashkar jhangvi , bla , raw or the governement agencies…once again SHAME on you Loosers!Recommend

  • from india
    Jun 20, 2011 - 7:57PM

    i have nothing against common pakistanis … however, i just cant tolerate the army and ISI… hope one day pakistanis realise that its their army which is responsible for the nation’s failure !! any positive news from pakistan will always be heartening for me .Recommend

  • Saliha
    Jun 21, 2011 - 11:24AM

    Where did my comment flew to? :l Recommend

  • E Mariner
    Jun 30, 2011 - 10:39PM

    @Kashif ali:
    Why should Baloch do it? It is the agencies which want to encourage the sectarian rift to diffuse and discredit the Baloch movement for their rights. Recommend

More in Balochistan