KARACHI: Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) director Parveen Rehman, who was gunned down in Karachi last night, was laid to rest at the Shah Mohammad graveyard in North Karachi on Thursday.
Rehman was being driven back home when she was killed by armed men at the Qasba Mor point on March 13.
Her funeral prayer was held at Gulistan-e-Jauhar, outside her residence and was attended by people belonging to various non-governmental organisations, members of the civil society and trade unions.
Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz leader Nehal Hashmi, Muttahida Qaumi Movement Rabta Committee member Khwaja Izharul Hassan, Managing Director Karachi Water and Sewerage Board Misbahuddin and a number of other noted figures also attended the funeral.
The murder shocked Rehman’s colleagues who said she did not have any personal enmity and worked mostly on projects for the uplift of the poor areas.
While it remains unclear if Rehman or the OPP had received threats, some of her work might have supposedly irked some influential persons.
Besides working on the illegal occupation of land in and around Orangi, Qasba and Gadap, Rehman had also mapped out illegal water hydrants around the city.
When contacted by The Express Tribune, renowned human rights activist, Ansar Burney, said that anti-social elements had targeted her.
“She was a brave woman and never bowed before such elements. I think she had threats but she didn’t care because she was committed to her mission,” he added.
He said that no one can stop people like Rahman.
“Several innocent people are being targeted in the city daily but political forces don’t take appropriate action. It is merciless. We all have to take firm stance now. We should not wait for any revolution now.”
“She was an extra ordinary woman. She was a gentle woman. Why one will kill her? I don’t understand,” commented Shehri’s Roland D’Souza.
“I am really sad today. She dedicated her life to welfare of the people. She left her professional career and her sacrifices are matchless.”
“No one is safe here. Even a prime minister is targeted but the killers are not traced so why will the state bother to trace her assailants?” D'Souza added.
Rahman was also the council member of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER).
Karamat Ali, the executive director of the PILER, who worked with her for several years said, “The most horrible think had happened. We have lost an exception human being. She was a completely dedicated human being.”