Pak­istan prime min­is­ter or­ders in­ves­ti­ga­tion into killing of rights ac­tivist

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE -

Pak­istani Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif has or­dered an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the killing of prom­i­nent rights ac­tivist Sabeen Mah­mud who was shot dead min­utes af­ter she hosted a sem­i­nar on abuses in trou­bled Baluchis­tan prov­ince.

Po­lice said Mah­mud, who runs The Sec­ond Floor, a cafe in Karachi that or­ga­nizes de­bates and art events, was killed late Fri­day when gun­men at­tacked her car as she de­parted with her mother from the venue in the up­mar­ket De­fence neigh­bor­hood.

Mah­mud was hit by five bul­lets and died at the scene, po­lice said. Her mother was wounded. Mama Ab­dul Qadeer, a prom­i­nent Baluch rights ac­tivist and a speaker at the sem­i­nar, said Mah­mud had re­ceived threats be­fore the event.

“The pro­gram or­ga­niz­ers were al­ready re­ceiv­ing threats ... it is very dif­fi­cult to talk about Baluchis­tan in Pak­istan,” Qadeer told AFP Satur­day.

Po­lice ini­tially said it ap­peared to be “a re­sult of per­sonal en­mity” but launched a probe af­ter Sharif or­dered an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into her killing.

“A team of three se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers headed by the deputy in­spec­tor gen­eral of po­lice will probe the killing,” Atique Ahmed Shaikh, a spokesman for Karachi po­lice, told AFP.

Tariq Dharajo, an­other se­nior po­lice of­fi­cial, said no one had yet been ar­rested and po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing dif­fer­ent an­gles.

He said Mah­mud’s mother told po­lice Satur­day that at­tack­ers on a mo­tor­bike opened fire af­ter they stopped their car at a traf­fic sig­nal.

Mah­mud had on Fri­day hosted a sem­i­nar about rights abuses in Baluchis­tan ti­tled “Un-si­lenc­ing Baluchis­tan Take 2,” fea­tur­ing two prom­i­nent Baluch rights ac­tivists, Qadeer and Farzana Baluch, among other speak­ers.

Qadeer and Baluch were meant to speak at an­other sem­i­nar, “Un­si­lenc­ing Baluchis­tan,” at the pres­ti­gious La­hore Uni­ver­sity of Man­age­ment Sciences about two weeks ago, but rights ac­tivists said it was can­celled ap­par­ently at the be­hest of the pow­er­ful In­ter Ser­vices In­tel­li­gence (ISI) agency.

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