KARACHI: Gunmen on Thursday shot dead four people, including a provincial lawmaker belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), in Karachi, Daily Sitara Sindh News reported.
“A member of the Sindh provincial assembly was killed with three of his guards when gunmen on two motorcycles intercepted his car in Orangi neighbourhood and shot them with automatic weapons,” police spokesman Imran Shaukat told news agency AFP.
Manzar Imam, a leader of the MQM, the largest political party in Karachi and a coalition partner in the federal government, was killed along with two of his guards when armed assailants on motorcycles opened fire on his vehicle in Karachi’s Orangi Town area.
Police said the gunmen fled the scene following the shooting. At least one other person was also reported to have been wounded in the incident.
Imam was elected from the PS-95 Karachi VII seat, and served as member on the Sindh Assembly’s Standing Committee on Cooperation , Standing Committee on Environment and Alternate Energy and the Standing Committee on Prisons.
Karachi tense after shooting
Tensions rose in Karachi immediately after Thursday’s shooting. Many markets closed and people rushed home to avoid any potential violent backlash.
It is the second shooting of an MQM provincial lawmaker in just over two years in Karachi, Pakistan’s business centre with a population of 18 million.
The death of MQM lawmaker Raza Haider in an ambush in August 2010 sparked a fierce wave of ethnic and politically linked violence that killed scores of people.
Karachi last year saw its deadliest year in two decades, with around 2,000 people killed in violence linked to ethnic and political tensions, raising fears for elections due this year.