Former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader and ex-MNA Syed Ali Raza Abidi was shot dead in Karachi’s DHA neighbourhood on Tuesday evening, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South Javed Alam Odho said. He was 46.
Two unidentified assailants riding a motorcycle opened fire on Abidi’s car near his residence on Khayaban-e-Ghazi street in DHA’s Phase V, according to Station House Office Gizri Asad Mangi.
Abidi was alone in his car when the attack took place and was taken to PNS Shifa hospital by his father, Akhlaq Abidi.
The former MQM leader succumbed to his injuries during treatment, SSP South Pir Muhammad Shah said.
A postmortem examination showed that Abidi sustained four bullet wounds — two on his chest, one on his neck and as many on his arm.
Police and Rangers personnel cordoned off the site of the attack and are collecting evidence.
Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Syed Kaleem Imam took notice of the incident and sought a report from police authorities. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also took notice of the incident and sought an investigative report.
Former MQM-Pakistan chief Farooq Sattar while talking to reporters after Abidi’s demise said “[he] was like my children”.
“We had raised him with our own hands, he was Pakistan’s future. With what cowardice and coldness he was targeted and martyred.”
CCTV footage of the incident, seen by Dawn.com, shows Abidi’s car approaching and then stopping at his residence’s gate. Just before the gate is opened, however, two motorcycle-riding assailants stop by Abidi’s car. One of the attackers, wearing a cap, gets off the bike and opens fire from the driver’s side.
“The attackers were expert in target killings,” Raja Umar Khattab, a senior official of Sindh Police’s Counter-Terrorism Department, told Dawn. He noted that the shooter had targeted Abidi within a span of just 10 seconds.
The assailants had been closely following Abidi’s car, Khattab added.
A politician and restaurateur
Abidi was elected to the National Assembly in the 2013 general elections from Karachi’s NA-251 constituency on an MQM ticket.
In November 2017, he had opposed Sattar and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Mustafa Kamal’s short-lived alliance, and even announced that he was resigning from his NA seat as “this is not what I believed in and stood for”.
Abidi was one of the leaders who had stood with former convener Sattar in the buildup to the 2018 elections when MQM-P was subject to an internal power battle.
He contested the July 25 elections from Karachi’s NA-243 constituency, but was defeated by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In September this year, Abidi tendered in his resignation from the MQM-Pakistan’s “basic membership” citing “personal reasons”.
Abidi studied marketing at Boston University in the United States and also attended Iqra University in Karachi, according to his Facebook profile. He was the owner of the famous Karachi eatery, ‘Biryani of the Seas’.
He was quite active on Twitter, with his last tweet coming just four hours before the fatal attack on him.