in brief: leading female pakistani politician killed in karachi
Leading Pakistani political figure Zahra Shahid Hussain has been shot and killed outside her home in southern Karachi. She was the senior vice-president of Pakistan’s Movement for Justice Party (PTI).
Shahid was shot by gunmen on a motorcycle. ‘The assailants opened fire on Zahra, 60, as soon as she reached the gate of her residence. Apparently they were there to target her only,’ an official said.
Reports suggested that she was the victim of a robbery, but eyewitnesses claim she was shot after she handed over her belongings. The BBC reports she was shot twice in the head and suggests that the robbery was a cover for the hit.
The attack came on the eve of highly-contested partial re-run of an election held last week. Imran Khan, leader of PTI, blamed the city’s dominant political party, MQM, for the murder. The party has denied responsibility.
Khan also lay blame on the British government for failing to act on warnings of possible violence. He tweeted: ‘I also hold the British Govt responsible as I had warned them abt Br citizen Altaf Hussain after his open threats to kill PTI workers.’
Last weekend’s election saw about 50 million Pakistanis vote, with centre-right former prime minister Nawaz Sharif emerging the winner nearly 14 years after he was deposed in a coup.