KARACHI: An educationist and editor of a children’s magazine, Shamoon Qaiser, was shot dead by robbers on Saturday night after he had withdrawn money from an automated teller machine (ATM) at Nagan Chowrangi.
The 30-year-old victim, who had married only a year ago, had reportedly resisted the robbery bid outside the ATM booth at a branch of Meezan Bank. “They fired two aerial shots when he refused to give in, but he appeared unmoved and kept walking towards his motorcycle,” an eyewitness told The Express Tribune. “He was shot from behind just as he sat on his motorcycle and switched on the ignition.”
The bullet pierced from the rear and exited Qaiser’s body through the abdomen, stated the medico-legal report.
An ambulance rushed him to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he succumbed to the injury.
On his way to the hospital, the victim called his editor-in-chief and informed him about the incident. “He told me that the robbers had shot him outside the ATM at Nagan Chowrangi,” said Najeeb Ahmed Hanfi.
The police believe, however, that the victim was killed in an incident of target killing due to his affiliation with the Jamaat-e-Islami. “He was being chased by the assailants, who ultimately caught up with him near the ATM,” said Sir Syed police SHO Jamal Laghari. “Our investigation suggests that the money he withdrew from the ATM had nothing to do with the incident.”
A literary casualty
When the V Shine World, the house of popular tri-lingual children’s web portal and monthly children magazine in English, decided to expand with the launch of an Urdu children’s magazine, tilted Jugmug Taare, Qaiser was entrusted with the responsibility of being its editor.
Earlier, he had been working as editor of another popular Urdu children’s magazine, titled Saathi, from 2010 till 2013.
For the last six years, the deceased was also associated with campus nine of the Usman Public School as science teacher for grade four and five students. “I will never be able to forget him in my lifetime; the way he used to smile, the way he talked and the way he used to plan for our better future,” said one of his students, Chaudhry Basit.
“I used to think I was one of his few best friends, but hundreds of gloomy faces and tear-filled eyes at the hospital told me that he was loved by all. They were all his best friends,” said Muhammad Saad Salman.
“Shamoon [Qaiser] had dedicated his life for better grooming and education of children,” said Fasihullah Hussaini, who worked with Qaiser in preparing the training curriculum for teachers at the orphan support programme of the Helping Hand, a global humanitarian relief and development organisation. “For the curriculum, he tirelessly surveyed Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to evaluate the psychological behavior and understanding levels of the school children.”
It was his passion for education that, after getting a Master’s degree in economics and finance, Qaiser went for another post-graduation in education. He had recently enrolled himself at Iqra University for an MPhil degree in education.
He was laid to rest on Sunday after the funeral prayers at Al Huda mosque in North Karachi.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2014.