Funeral prayers offered for slain activist Khurram Zaki

KARACHI: Funeral prayers for slain rights activist Khurram Zaki were offered Sunday evening outside the Chief Minister House in Karachi. His body was brought in a coffin outside the CM House in the form of a rally.

Several relatives, supporters, and activists had gathered near the CM House for the funeral prayers of the prominent civil society activist and social media campaigner who was shot dead in a targeted attack by unknown gunmen in North Karachi late Saturday night.

According to latest reports from law enforcers, a forensics report had been prepared of the used bullet shells recovered from the scene of the crime.

Police officers said two separate 9mm bore pistols were used in the gun attack on Zaki and his friends.

The weapons have not been used in any previous crimes, said the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Arib Mehr. “We are carrying out further investigation,” he said.

The murder case was registered earlier today at the Sir Syed police station.

Campaigner against extremism

Zaki was a research scholar, former journalist, blogger, and human and civil rights activist. He was popular on social media as the editor of the website Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP), an online forum which claimed to “spread liberal religious views and condemned extremism in all forms”.

Zaki and a friend were sitting at an outdoor restaurant in Sector 11-G of North Karachi when attackers on two motorbikes sprayed him with bullets and fled.

“Zaki was sitting at a cafe where he was targeted by four armed men arriving on two motorcycles,” Muqadas Haider, a senior police official said.

The two friends along with a passer-by, identified as Aslam, were wounded and taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Zaki was later moved to the Aga Khan Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

SHO Iftekhar of the Sir Syed Police Station said Zaki had recently shifted to North Karachi from Gulistan-e-Jauhar. The victim was also a Zakir, who delivered sermons at Majalis.

Calls for justice

The murder of the social activist was condemned by several politicians, with several people posting messages on social media website Twitter with the hashtag #JusticeForPeaceActivist to condemn the killing.

Speaking to reporters, Zaki’s widow said that her late husband received several death threats due to his criticism of banned outfits and campaigning against extremism.



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