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Imran blames rival for colleague murder

world Updated: May 20, 2013 02:48 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times
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Repolling in over 40 Karachi polling stations on Sunday may lead to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf winning another seat in Parliament as tensions grew between the party and the Karachi-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) with each accusing the other of using strong arm tactics.

PTI chairman Imran Khan accused the MQM of murdering one its senior members, Zehra Shahid Hussain, in Karachi on Saturday night with the MQM in turn threatening to sue Imran Khan for defaming their leader.

Imran Khan said in a statement from his hospital bed on Sunday that he held "both MQM leader Altaf Hussain and the British government responsible for the killing" as Altaf Hussain is a British citizen and is based in London in self-exile from where he issued public threats against the PTI last week.

Meanwhile, Zehra Shahid Hussain's funeral was held in Karachi amongst moving scenes on Sunday afternoon. Hussain was murdered outside her house in the upmarket Defence Housing area on Saturday evening as she alighted from her car. Her driver said that three men were waiting for her and shot her in the face as she emerged from her car. Karachi police say that at this point it was not clear whether it was a robbery or a targeted killing.

Zehra Shahid Hussain was a senior vice president of the PTI in Karachi and was active in organizing protests against the MQM after charges of rigging by the MQM in the NA250 constituency. The PTI has been holding daily protests in Karachi against the MQM. Last week, irritated by the growing protests MQM chief Altaf Hussain had publicly threatened the PTI and said he would set an example if they continued to threaten his party. This statement was widely condemned by all parties.

NA250, where re-polling was held on Sunday, has become a point of controversy in the country on allegations of rigging by the MQM.