Dissident Pak leaders demand action against killers of former MP Ali Raza Abidi


 Horrified at the assassination of former member of parliament Ali RazaAbidi, a group of dissident Pakistanis living in self-exile in the US on Thursday demanded that his killers be brought to account.

“We are shocked and horrified, and condemn in the strongest possible terms the heinous murder of former parliamentarian and senior leader of the MQM, Syed Ali RazaAbidi,” members of the Steering Committee of South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH) said in a statement on the assassination of Abidi.

Abidi was killed on Sunday in Karachi, a Mohajir majority city, by two gunmen riding on a motorbike outside his doorstep when he was returning from his office.

“This murder comes amid false claims by Pakistan’s establishment and its artificially selected civilian government about restoring peace and security to Karachi,” said SAATH, which recently held a conference in Washington DC on the shrinking space for civil rights and dissidence inside Pakistan.

“We demand his killers be brought to account and not just the pawns in the game, but the masterminds,” SAATH demanded.

Signatories to the statement include: columnists GulBukhari and Dr Mohammed Taqi, exiled journalist TahaSiddiqi, and former Pakistan ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, along with other members of SAATH’s 28-member steering committee.

In a separate statement, the Voice of Karachi chairman NadeemNusrat categorically blamed Pakistani intelligence agencies for the murder of Abidi.

“Ali RazaAbidi was not only a Mohajir, he also belonged to Shia community which has been the subject of a wave of organised lethal attacks by establishment-sponsored religious extremists. Ali Abidi also frequently criticised inhuman treatment of Pashtuns and Balochs in the parliament, besides regularly raising his voice against Pakistani state’s discriminatory policies towards his fellow Mohajirs — descendants of those who had migrated from India to Pakistan at the time of partition in 1947,” Nusrat said. (PTI)

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