The week-long war of words between cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) took a turn for the worse over the weekend with the murder of a PTI leader on Saturday that led to the party’s supporters protesting outside Downing Street in London on Sunday against the MQM as its leader Altaf Hussain lives in the U.K.
Zohra Shahid Hussain was shot dead outside her residence in Karachi’s Defence Society on Saturday night, ahead of Sunday’s repolling at 43 stations in the NA-250 constituency, following PTI’s allegations of rigging.
Though the police said she was killed in a robbery attempt, Mr. Khan held Mr. Altaf Hussain responsible for her murder.
Mr. Imran Khan reiterated his allegations in a video message from his hospital bed to which he has been confined since his fall from a forklift before the elections. The MQM on Sunday announced that it would not only file a defamation suit against Mr. Khan but would also protest against the PTI, not just in the country but also other countries.
Despite appeals by the PTI leadership, turnout at the repoll was thin compared to that on May 11 when Pakistan registered the biggest participation in an election at about 60 per cent. In the unofficial results of Sunday’s poll, conducted under military watch, the PTI was leading the count.