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Female Politician From Imran Khan's Party Gunned Down In Pakistan's Karachi

posted 19 May 2013, 04:10 by Mpelembe   [ updated 19 May 2013, 04:10 ]

Unidentified assailants shoot and kill a local female politician from the cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's party in Pakistan's biggest city Karachi.

 KARACHIPAKISTAN (MAY 18, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a local female politician from the cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's party outside her home in Karachi on Saturday (May 18), police said.

Zahra Shahid Hussain, 60, was the senior vice president of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) in the women's wing of the Sindh province.

Two attackers on a motorcycle shot her outside her residence in the affluent Defence Housing Authority area in the southern district of the city before fleeing the scene, according to police.

Senior police superintendent, Aftab Ahmed Sheikh, said it was unclear whether the killing was a murder or a robbery that went wrong.

"With the evidence that we have collected so far, we can not rule out both scenarios that it could be a murder or that it could be an incident of robbery. Our investigation is underway, but further on once we collected more evidence we will be able to tell what it is," he said.

Hussain who was seriously wounded died on her way to the hospital.

Grieving relatives and PTI workers gathered outside hospital late in the evening.

The president of the Sindh branch of PTI, Nadir Abdul Leghari, bemoaned Hussain's death, saying it was an indication of growing tension in Pakistan.

"A defenceless woman has been killed. And now the security is alert. I can't understand what kind of situation it is going to be. The way this violence is increasing in Pakistan, how will we stop it? People are killed daily, lives are lost daily, and no one is there to question," said Leghari.

Hussain's murder comes a day before Pakistan is set to hold a highly contested re-polling at 43 stations in Karachi following a May 11 general election.

The Election Commission ordered the partial rerun after PTI and the right-wingJamaat-e-Islami party staged nationwide protests claiming vote-rigging in a poll that marked the first democratic transition of power in the country.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but tensions have been running high between PTI and Karachi's dominant Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

MQM has denied the charge of widespread rigging and announced a boycott of the re-election.

Pakistan's general elections on May 11 were marred by a campaign by Islamists to block the voting. Despite pre-poll violence and attacks that killed at least 40 people, voter turnout was a robust 60 percent.