KARACHI - MQM lawmaker Rashid Godil “opened his eyes” in early signs of a “miraculous” recovery from the assassination attempt by motorcycle gunmen on Tuesday, party leaders claimed last night.

He remains in a grave condition and doctors said the next 24 hours will be critical to his chances of survival. He suffered serious head, chest and arm wounds and one bullet pierced his right lung.

But senior MQM leaders, who are keeping a round the clock vigil at his bedside in Karachi’s Liaquat National Hospital, last night hailed his fierce will to survive and said it was a “miracle” he was still alive.

The MP and deputy MQM leader in the National Assembly had been expected to succumb to his injuries but his colleagues last night said he had made remarkable progress and was now ‘semi-conscious.’ He had signalled to doctors by moving his finger.

While he remains on a ventilator, doctors have been able to reduce his dependency to 60 per cent.

Godil’s fellow MP Syed Raza Ali Abidi, who is one of the MQM team keeping vigil at the hospital, said he had sat at his bedside and seen signs of the victim stirring. “I was along with the doctors when they entered the Intensive Care Unit to check his condition. The doctors tried to get the attention of the patient and at the same time Godil opened his eyes,” he told The Nation.

When the doctors asked how he felt, Godil struggled to respond through his oxygen mask and moved his hand instead. “It is a miracle that God has produced as strong a man,” he added.

Doctors confirmed Godil’s improvement and described his condition as “clinically stable.” His brain and kidneys are functioning normally while his blood pressure and haemoglobin levels have also stabilized. Doctors remain concerned about the damage to his lung, however.

Dr Anjum Rizvi, spokesman for Liaquat National Hospital said a panel of 18 doctors was now observing the MP’s treatment. “We stopped giving sedatives so the patient could regain consciousness and his reaction could be monitored. The oxygen supply had been decreased in the morning so that the patient could begin breathing on his own. The next 24 hours are important for Godil,” he said.

Meanwhile, the New Town police registered a case against unknown assailants on the complaint of his brother in law.

The police and the law enforcement agencies failed to make any headway so far in identifying the attackers. The body of Godil’s driver who had killed on the spot in the incident has been sent to his hometown for burial.

Investigators team failed to obtained crime scene witnesses while CCTV footage that captured the incident also proved no help. An investigator said the police were unable to complete the initial investigation report and why Godil rushed to Liaquat National Hospital while his driver was taken to the Aga Khan University? Investigators were also trying to probe the presence of another man along with Godil wife and driver in the car at the time of incident.

District East police chief SSP Javed Jiskani said that police had gathered many CCCTV footages and were trying to ascertain culprits chasing the Godil’s car.

The police also failed to find any witness account to help identifying or making the sketches of the attackers. The investigators have also collected the calling data of the Godil and his driver and were busy in screening the data. The investigators are also seeking the report of the geo-fencing as it is expected that it will take at least three to four more days. Following the attack, the police have beefed up a security of the Godil’s family to avoid any untoward incident.

Meanwhile Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani has said that attack on the MQM might be a conspiracy to sabotage the ongoing negotiations as some elements did not want to see MQM legislators in the assemblies.