Within hours of the murder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s leader, Zahra Shahid Hussain, party chairperson, Imran Khan, put the blame on Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Chief Altaf Hussain but despite the passage of three days, no case has been registered as yet - either by the party or family members.
The PTI Sindh senior vice-president was gunned down outside her house in Phase IV, Defence Housing Authority on the night of May 18. While some believe that the murder took place over an attempted robbery gone wrong, others held the MQM openly responsible.
According to police officials, they have approached the family of the deceased leader multiple times to register a case but have yet to receive the go-ahead. “Since the day of the murder, we have been requesting the family to register a case. Our men, including me, have visited the house at least 10 times everyday,” Clifton SSP Nasir Aftab told The Express Tribune. “The family, however, has neither agreed to register a case nor clearly stated that they won’t.”
SSP Aftab said that at times the family declined to register a case because they were tired and at other occasions they said that they were still “consulting” about the case. “We will wait till today [Tuesday], otherwise, we will register an FIR on behalf of the state.”
The police investigators said that no official record of the family or the driver of the victim has been recorded. “Nobody from the family, not even the driver Ghulam Hussain who is the only eyewitness, approached the police to record their official statements,” said SSP Aftab. “How can we look into a case without the version of the eyewitness and the family? But we have been trying to make use of the available evidence and have started an investigation on our own.”
According to sources, police have already received the ballistic report, giving them a lead to investigate the suspects. SSP Aftab, however, did not confirm any such development. “The police investigators have collected some important evidence which we are assessing but nothing can be shared until the investigation is finalised.”
When approached, Zahra’s family and the PTI leadership were not available for comments.
Meanwhile, the Sindh Inspector General of Police Shahid Nadeem Baloch has constituted an investigation team which is being headed by the district south police chief, DIG Dr Ameer Shaikh. SSP Nasir Aftab, SSP Investigations Manzur Khatian, Special Investigation Unit Chief SSP Farooq Awan, Anti-Violent Crime Cell Chief SSP Niaz Khosa, Gizri DSP Azam Baloch, SHO Sohail Khan and SIO Ali Ahmed are also part of the team.
PTI activists gather outside ECP office
The activists of the PTI took their protest to the provincial election commission on Tuesday evening when they demanded detailed results of each polling station and reports of those involved in rigging on May 11.
Outside the provincial election commission office in Saddar, PTI leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi demanded the election commission release statistics of each polling station, and the details of the staff members who were present inside each polling station. “We have about 81 FIRs that have been forwarded by the presiding officers but there has been no progress on them.”
He demanded the ECP contact all law enforcement agencies and release a detailed report of all those involved in unfair polling. “Those who were involved in rigging on May 11 should be exposed.” Referring to a statement made by Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Nabil Gabol on banning the entry of those who speak against Altaf Hussain, Naqvi said Gabol should try to enter Lyari first.
Anas Mallick, a PTI activist, said that there had been massive rigging in the elections and their demand is for the election commission to conduct fresh polls in the city under the supervision of the army. “The mandate which I voted for does not represent my current representatives and those who’ll make it to the assemblies won’t represent me.”
Another supporter Kiran Azhar said that by voting for Imran Khan, she voted for change but instead her vote was changed. “I gave my vote to PTI as I felt hopeful that they can take us out from this current mess,” she said. “It is sad how rigging in the city changed everyone’s votes.”
The place where the protesters were gathered was cordoned off by the police and Rangers. The protesters also demanded the government arrest the killers of PTI Sindh chapter vice-president Zahra Shahid Hussain, who was gunned down on Saturday outside her house in Defence.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2013.
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