KARACHI: Sindh Planning and Development Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and his wife Fariha Razak Haroon were found dead at their home in the Defence locality of Karachi.
Members of Bijarani’s family and officials of the Pakistan Peoples Party confirmed to media that Bijarani and his wife were found dead at their home and had suffered gunshot wounds.
Soon after the incident was reported, a large number of law-enforcement personnel reached the residence and established a cordon around the premises.
Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in-charge Raja Umer Khitab said Bijarani was shot once and four misfired bullets were found at the scene.
The senior police official also confirmed that the weapon had been recovered and added that the bodies were recovered from the study room adjacent to the bedroom.
“We can not give an opinion regarding the case yet. We have our forensic team and senior officers present on site,” Khitab added.
That the one of the misfired bullets was still stuck in the breech of the weapon and the weapon belonged to Bijarani.
The body of the provincial minister’s wife was found lying on the floor while Bijarani’s body was lying on the couch.
The police also took three members of the domestic staff, including a woman into custody along with two police guards for investigation. Those taken into custody include Bijarani’s cook, driver and the driver’s wife, said.
Police officials said the domestic staff ran to the upper floor after shots were heard, after which the staff informed the minister’s son, MNA Mir Shabbir Ali Bijarani.
The staff also informed the police that Bijarani’s son was the first to enter the room after entering the residence from its back door.
A medical board, headed by JPMC’s Dr Seemi Jamali, was formed to conduct a post-mortem on the bodies.
Dr Jamali confirmed that the couple was brought dead to the hospital, with the provincial minister having suffered a single gunshot wound to the temple.
The post-mortem of the minister and his wife was completed late on Thursday evening and Bijarani’s body was shifted Sukkur after medico-legal formalities.
Initial details from the post-mortem stated that Bijarani suffered a single gunshot wound to the temple from close distance, with gunshot residue visible around the entry wound. His wife suffered three gunshots; one to the temple and two others on her stomach.
Family members, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and senior government and party officials reached the house after the incident.
Sindh Information Minister, Nasir Shah said that Bijarani despite his status as minister and head of his tribe, did not prefer protocol and security. “Bijarani always led a very simple and low-profile life.”
The provincial information minister added that those responsible for the murder will be caught and brought to justice.
A forensic team reached the residence and collected evidence. Inquiries were also conducted over who was present at the house.
Bijarani’s life and political career
Bijarani was born on July 10, 1946 in Karampur,Sindh, and belonged to a family which was prominent in the PPP and Sindh politics. He completed his Bachelors from National College Karachi, later doing his MA in political science and LLB from Sindh Muslim Law College.
In 2013, Bijarani was elected from the PS-16 constituency of Jacobabad-Kashmore. He also represented the constituency in 1974, 1977.
In the past he had also served as a MNA (1990-93) and (1997-2013). In 1988 he served in the Senate.
Fariha Razak Haroon was a well-known journalist who had served as Director Public Relations with the Jang Group. She was also a Sindh Assembly MPA from 2002-2007.
The Pakistan Peoples Party suspended political activities and announced three-days of mourning as condolences poured in on Twitter following the death of Bijarani and Fariha Razak.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, while expressing grief and shock over the death of the provincial minister, ordered Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to submit a report while former president Asif Ali Zardari also expressed his condolences.
The PPP Chairman said that Bijarani was a senior PPP leader and an asset to the party and termed his death as a great loss for the PPP.
Aseefa Bhutto Zardari said she was shocked and horrified by the tragic news.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA said Bijarani and his wife were friends who he had met for lunch.