KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday sentenced two MQM workers to death in murder case of senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Zahra Shahid.
MQM workers Rashid alias Tailor Master, Zahid Abbas Zaidi were convicted of killing the female politician while, Irfan alias Lamba and Kaleem were acquitted from the charge. The ATC-XVII judge was conducting the trial within the Central Prison premises on a daily basis.
Zahra Shahid Hussain commonly known as Zara Apa, was a Pakistani activist-politician, teacher and the senior vice president of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Sindh.
She had formerly served as the president of women’s wing of the party in Sindh, and was a member of the central executive committee of the party. On 18 May 2013, she was assassinated outside her house in the upscale Defence Housing Authority neighborhood in Karachi.
The court had on Monday reserved its verdict, after hearing the final arguments from the prosecution and defence.
The four detained men had recorded their statements on Aug 2 denying their alleged involvement in the murder.
The driver of the deceased leader was among the prosecution witness. The court had earlier heard a magistrate who conducted the identification parade. The magistrate confirmed that at the identification parade, the witnesses had identified the suspected killers.
Hussain was shot dead on May 18, 2013, outside her residence in the Defence Housing Authority’s Phase IV, hours before the controversial re-elections in constituency NA-250. The gruesome murder had sparked unrest in political circles of the country as PTI leader Imran Khan had accused MQM for murder.
In a video recorded after his arrest, Rashid confessed that they had been following Zahra’s car, and as soon as the car reached her residence in DHA Phase IV, Zaidi opened fire at her and killed her on May 18, 2013. He said they only came to know that Shahid was a leader of the PTI after they had killed her. He said that Asif alias Ganja, Zahid, Junaid and Tariq were his accomplices in the murder.