Karachi : A shocking news came from Pakistan, One of Pakistan's most famous Sufi singers was today shot dead by bike-borne assailants in Karachi some two hours before iftar, the appointed time at sundown when the Ramazan fast is broken. Amjad Sabri (45 age) was travelling by car from his home in the city’s eastern Korangi area to a television studio, when a motorcycle pulled up alongside the vehicle and the attackers opened fire, Farooq Sanjarani, a police officer told AFP.
Mr. Sabri was hit by five bullets and was declared dead at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital while a companion, named as a relative, Saleem Sabri, was in critical condition, a hospital source added. The Taliban and other groups have been opposing Sufism and targeting Sufi shrines and mosques down the years. An infamous bombing was of the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore six years ago, in which nearly 50 people lost their lives.
Sabri was apparently heading for the studio of a private television channel when he was attacked. Police officials recovered five 30-bore casings from the scene of the attack, which have been sent for forensics. Both front side windows were shattered and three bullet holes could be seen on the front screen. A senior official of the Sindh home department said they were looking into reports that Sabri had recently submitted an application to the government for provision of security.
Amjad Sabri was the son renowned Qawwal Ghulam Farid Sabri whose family is famous in the subcontinent for their contribution to this sufi art and mystic poetry. Sabri was one of Pakistan's finest qawwals, known for his soul-stirring renditions of mystic poetry. Some of the most memorable and famous qawwalis of the Sabris were 'Bhar Do Jholi Meri', 'Tajdar-i-Haram' and Mera Koi Nahin Hai Teray Siwa'. Sabri, who travelled widely to Europe and the US for his concerts, was known as the ‘rockstar’ of Qawwali due to his modern style of rendition. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has condemned the attack and has directed authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Fakhre Alam, Chairman of Sindh Censor Board, has claimed in a tweet that Sabri had earlier submitted an application for security, but the home department did not act on it. His killing comes just two days after the son of the Sindh High Court Chief Justice was kidnapped and it raises serious concerns about the security situation in Pakistan's biggest city. This week a doctor belonging to the minority Ahmadi community was also shot dead in his clinic by gunmen. Opposition politicians have described Sabri's killing as a total failure of the provincial government to ensure proper law and order situation in Karachi which is the economic hub of the country.
The spokesman for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insasaf party, Naeem ul Haq, called for those involved in heinous crimes to be given exemplary capital punishment. "No one is safe in Karachi. The so-called clean-up operation since the last two years is a total failure." A senior member of the Mutthaida Qaumi Movement, Waseem Akhtar, who is the nominee for the Mayor's post also condemned Sabri's killing and said the government should resign. "Militants belonging to different banned outfits are openly roaming in parts of Karachi and there is no one to stop them," he said.