Gunmen kill Khan party woman politician in Pakistan

Gunmen kill Khan party woman politician in Pakistan

KARACHI - Agence France-Presse
Gunmen kill Khan party woman politician in Pakistan

Pakistani rescuers carry the dead body of Zohra Hussain, vice president of the women's wing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the province of Sindh, in Karachi on May 18, 2013. Gunmen have killed a Pakistani politician from Imran Khan's party in the southern port city of Karachi on the eve of a partial re-run of May 11 polls that were marked by more than 150 killings. AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN

Gunmen on Saturday killed a Pakistani woman politician from cricket star Imran Khan's Movement for Justice (PTI) party in the southern port city of Karachi on the eve of partial election re-polling.

Zohra Hussain, 59, the vice president of PTI women's wing in the southern Sindh province, was targeted by three gunmen on a motorcycle outside her residence in the city's upmarket Defence neighbourhood.

The Pakistan Election Commission has ordered re-polling on Sunday at 43 polling stations in Karachi after allegations of vote-rigging in the May 11 polls which marked the first democratic transition of power in Pakistan.

PTI and the right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami party have staged nationwide protests against the alleged rigging.

Pakistani politician Imran Khan Sunday blamed a rival political leader for the killing of a senior member of his party, who was gunned down outside her home in the violence-plagued city of Karachi.

Former cricket star Khan was quick to pin the blame on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party, which represents the Urdu-speaking majority, and specifically its boss Altaf Hussain, who lives in exile in London.
"I hold Altaf Hussain directly responsible for the murder as he had openly threatened PTI workers and leaders through public broadcasts," Khan said on his Twitter feed, describing the killing as "a targeted act of terror".

Three gunmen escape

Hussain "was leaving her home for some work when three gunmen attacked her. She thought they wanted to snatch her purse and handed it over to them but they killed her", Firdous Shamim, a local PTI leader, told AFP.

Police said all three gunmen escaped after the attack late Saturday.

"They shot her with one bullet near her chin and she could not survive," senior police official Nasir Aftab told AFP.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Tensions are running high between PTI and Karachi's dominant Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party after Khan's party accused the MQM of widespread rigging.

MQM has denied the charge and announced a boycott of the re-election.

Last weekend's election saw about 50 million Pakistanis vote, with centre-right former prime minister Nawaz Sharif emerging the winner nearly 14 years after he was deposed in a coup.

The Taliban, who denounce democracy as un-Islamic, killed more than 150 people during the election campaign, including 24 on polling day.

Karachi voters back at polls after ballot stuffing

Hundreds of people queued up at 43 polling stations in a constituency of Pakistan's port city of Karachi on Sunday where a re-vote had been ordered over allegations of ballot stuffing.

The re-poll of an eligible 86,000 voters in a constituency known as NA-250, largely an affluent neighbourhood, started at 8:00 am (0300 GMT) under tight security involving army, police and paramilitary rangers, an AFP reporter said.