Pakistan

Pakistani Activist Akram Zaki, who fought against jihadis shot dead in Karachi

Khurram-Zaki-gunned-down-in-Karachi

Akram Zaki had condemned extremism in all forms and came into limelight when he led a campaign against Lal Masjid cleric, Maulana Abdul Aziz for inciting hatred against Shia Muslims.

Akram Zaki, a social media campaigner and human rights activist known for his strong stance against religious extremism in Pakistan was killed by unknown assailants in the country’s financial capital of Karachi.

Zakir, 40, was killed last night by four armed assailants who came on two motorcycles while he was having dinner at a restaurant in Sector 11 of New Karachi.

A journalist, Rao Khalid who was with Zaki and a bystander Aslam were critically wounded in the attack.

Just hours before his death, Zaki’s last Facebook post congratulated new London Mayor Sadiq Kahn on his election and hailed London as a beacon for the world.

“I am celebrating the greatness of Western Secular Democracy. In this day and age of terrorism and Islamophobia, London has risen above discrimination and bigotry and emerged as great centre of human civilisation setting a great example for the world.”

Despite being treated at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and later being moved to a private medical facility, Zaki died shortly afterwards. The two friends are still being treated in hospital.

Zaki, a former journalist gained fame when he launched a Facebook page, “Let Us Build Pakistan” and became editor of a website devoted to working for human rights and spreading liberal religious views.

He had condemned extremism in all forms and came into limelight when he led a campaign against Lal Masjid cleric, Maulana Abdul Aziz for inciting hatred against Shia Muslims.

He and other campaigners built up pressure and got a case registered against Aziz.

Zaki’s assassination came on the same day when Karachi police announced that they had arrested a prime suspect in the murder of social activist Parveen Rehman who was killed in May 2013.

Parveen who worked for the development of the impoverished neighbourhoods in the Orangi town was killed in the same area while returning home.

Last year in September, another prominent social activist and rights campaigner Sabeen Mahmud was also killed inthe defence area in Karachi while returning from her office. Her assailants are yet to be nabbed by the police.

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