KARACHI - Five people including three workers of the Awami National Party were gunned down while their party’s local leader was injured in an act of target killing in Frontier Colony near Banaras Market within the limits of Pirabad police station.

Police officials said that the incident took place when ANP workers were sitting near their homes when unidentified culprits riding a motorcycle sprayed them with bullets. The injured were immediately taken to different hospitals where three of them including Rahmat Ali, Bakht Nawab and another man yet to be identified succumbed to their injuries during treatment while ANP’s regional leader Ameer Sardar was admitted to the Ziauddin Hospital. Ameer Sardar Haider is an ANP’s ward president and a member of the ANP’s central committee and was the former nazim of the union council.

Tension prevailed in the locality where routine and commercial activities were also suspended. A heavy contingent of the law enforcers including Rangers and police was also called at the site to avoid any untoward incident.

An activist of the Sunni Tehreek was shot and injured in New Karachi within the limits of Bilal Colony police station. He was identified as Ahmed Ali, son of Wajid Ali. The injured was taken to Civil Hospital, Karachi.  Meanwhile, at least two people were shot dead while police claimed to have arrested two political workers allegedly involved in over 35 cases of target killings on Monday.

A young man identified as 22-year-old Waqas, son of Abbas was gunned down inside his home in Lines Area within the limits of Brigade police station. The victim was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre where he succumbed to his injuries. According to police, the deceased was killed over property.  In Old City area, a body of a young man yet to be identified was found within the limits of Nabi Bux police station.

The body was moved to morgue for identification after medico-legal formalities completed at Civil Hospital, Karachi. Police officials said that the victim was killed after kidnapping, adding his hands and legs were also tied with the ropes and the culprits also drilled the victim before throwing his body at the abandoned place.

Meanwhile, Maripur police claimed to have arrested an alleged target killer who according to police was also involved in the target killing of the close friend-cum-media coordinator of the Pakistan People’s Party’s lawmaker Abdul Qadir Patel. The alleged target killer was identified as Abdul Hameed. Police officials said that accused belong to the Razzak Commando group, adding that Razzak Commando is basically a gangster but had also support of a political party. The police said that the accused was involved in over two dozen cases of target killings including the target killing of PPP’s leader Qadir Patel’s coordinator Edhi Ameen Khaskheli. The officer also claimed to have recovered a kalashnikov, a repeater and a TT pistol from his possession.

Edhi Ameen Khaskheli, 40, and Abdul Ghani Wachani, 42, were going home on their motorcycles when two men on a motorcycle sprayed them with bullets in Baldia Town on May 2010. Edhi Ameen was not just a friend but also worked as a coordinator for Patel, who was elected from NA 239. Patel also resigned from his post after the incident. In another raid, District East police also arrested a man allegedly involved in the target killings of at least 10 people. The arrest was made in Saudabad area of Malir. The accused was identified as Zafar and police officials also claimed to have recovered a pistol from his possession. According to police officials, the accused belong to the MQM-Haqiqi and had been involved in about 10 cases of target killings of the rival political party’s workers.

AJP calls for protection to Hindu community: The Awami Jamhoori Party (AJP) has said the PPP-led government miserably failed to instill a sense of security into the Hindu community in the province that forced many families to leave their motherland.

In a statement issued on Monday, AJP chief Abrar Kazi, Wishno Mal and Hareef Chandio said, “At a time when advanced nations were actively alluring global talent, the most peaceful, law-abiding, hardworking, highly skilled and entrepreneurial native children of Sindh were being forced to leave their motherland just because they happened to be part of a very successful, but defenseless community.”

“Sindh belongs to the Sindhi Hindus. They are equal owners of this historic land which is inhabited by the Muslims and Hindus speaking Sindhi since ages,” they said as they appealed to the Sindhi Hindus not to leave Sindh,” they said.

The AJP leaders further said the reason behind this large-scale migration was insecurity. “People do not feel safe at their homes. Businesses are not safe. Job market in upper Sindh is at an all-time low.”

“The Sindhi Hindus are entrepreneur class of the province, if they leave, Sindh will suffer huge economic loss. Development of the province will suffer a setback,” they added as they demanded the government and political forces to come forward and address the grievances of the Hindu community.