Karachi Photo Blog

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Who killed Masood Hamid and why?

Who killed Masood Hamid and why?

After getting multiple notifications from the alumni of the Habib Public School on the social media, about the brutal murder of one of their ex-colleagues I got curious about the homicide victim: Masood Hamid.  Who was he and why did he get killed?
Masood Hamid, Director of Marketing at the Pakistan Herald Publications (a part of the Haroon family media empire that publishes the Daily Dawn, the Monthly Herald, etc. and owns the City FM 89 radio and the Dawn TV) was murdered Friday night.  According to the newspaper reports his body was found in his car; that he was killed with a single shot in his head; and that the gun was left behind on the scene.

How was Masood Hamid’s murder related to another high profile murder (SHO Preedi Police Station Aijaz Khwaja killed on Thursday), and an attempted murder (of Debra Lobo, also on Thursday), in Karachi?

Who killed Masood Hamid and why?

1.   Was Masood Hamid’s murder an act of sectarian target killing? Not really.  He was not a Shia; not a Qadiani—he was just a run-of-the-mill, not-too-interested-in-religion-Sunni.  Killers of the police officer Aijaz Khwaja (a Shia) did not leave a note because they did not need to, but those who assaulted Debra Lobo did—the note said Lobo was being attacked because she was an American. In short, assaults on Khwaja and Lobo can be attributed to the Sunni extremists.  But how to handle Masood Hamid’s murder?
2.   Was Masood killed because he worked for a media outlet?  Probably not.  Masood was neither a reporter, nor he decided the editorial policy of any publication.
3.   Was Masood killed by mistake, when target killers wanted to really kill someone else?  Probably not.  Karachi target killers are known to be diligent—they do their homework before they kill.
4.   Was Masood killed in a mugging attempt that he resisted?  [Imagine the scenario: Masood Hamid reaches his destination and is coming out of the car when someone puts a gun to this head and asks for his wallet and the cell phone. Masood resists, the nervous gunman shoots Masood and in panic leaves the weapon behind.] Counter argument: Like most educated people Masood probably knew there was no point in resisting when you had a gun to your head. Also, unless the gunman is really novice, it is not easy to leave behind the gun.
5.   Was Masood killed because he owed someone money, or because of some other personal matter we are not aware of?  We do not know.

For whatever reason Masood Hamid was killed, one thing is certain: after three incidents of high profile assaults, in just two days, the claims of target-killers being wiped out of Karachi, after an operation against MQM, have dissolved into thin air.  The Karachi operation needs to be widened to include the religious extremists and other criminal gangs.

Photo, courtesy of Dawn.com


Sunday, April 05, 2015

Agha Hasan Abedi, In the Eyes of his Associates, Part IV

Agha Hasan Abedi, In the Eyes of his Associates, Part IV
An interview with Asrar Hasan (late)

See Akbar Bilgrami's interview at:

See AB Shahid's interview at:

See Nasim Khan's interview at:

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Asrar Hasan--banker (1942-2015)

Throughout his life, Chacha Jan, my uncle, made conveniences for me.  His last act of kindness towards me was to die very early in the day I was leaving town, saving me the hassle of changing my travel plans.

[Detailed personal notes coming soon.]

It takes some time for events to sink in my thick skin.  The morning of February 23 as the plane started to make its final descent and passengers aggravated by the sixteen hour flight came back to life looking forward to the prospect of being freed soon, the ugly dead end death brings the avenue of possibilities to, suddenly became pellucid. It was then that I realized that with his death Chacha Jan had taken a large chunk out of my life too. I was sure I felt it much later than scores of destitute he regularly fed at various sufi tombs.

Asrar Hasan (1942-2015)

Born:  Haswa, British India, 1942
Moved to Pakistan: 1958
Employment with Habib Bank Limited: 1962- 1974
Married Naushaba Sultana: 1969
HBL: Posted in Karachi, then Singapore, back to Karachi, then Sharjah, later Dubai
Employment with the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI): 1974 - 1991
Posted first in Saudi Arabia, then in Egypt, as Country Chief
Moved back to Pakistan: 1991
Worked at the Soneri Bank: 1992 - 2008
Naushaba Sultana died of kidney failure: November, 2012
Asrar Hasan diagnosed with fourth stage hepatic cancer: July, 2014
Died: 6:30 am on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at his home in Karachi.