Pakistani scholar assassinated

Issue 

Pakistani scholar assassinated

By Nadeem Ansari

Early on the morning of October 17, a prominent and renowned scholar, Hakim Mohammad Saeed (78) was assassinated near his clinic in Karachi.

Hakim Saeed was the founding president of the Hamdard Foundation and the chancellor of Hamdard University. He was also a former governor of Sindh province.

Hamdard Foundation is famous for naturopathic medicine, and Hamdard University provides training in naturopathy.

Hakim Saeed was a respected figure because of his services to the community. All Karachi was jolted when news of his assassination spread, stunning his admirers and friends all over Pakistan.

The assassination comes at a time when the ruling Pakistan Muslim League and the major opposition, the Pakistan People's Party, are blaming each other for corruption and nepotism.

Just one day before his assassination, Hakim Saeed addressed a Hamdard Foundation assembly and repeated a demand for stern action against those who have looted the nation wealth.

He also accused feudal layers and certain politicians of involvement in narcotics. He stated that around US$80 billion had been siphoned off by feudals and politicians, and Pakistan could clear its debt and get out of IMF and World Bank clutches by recovering this wealth.

During his last visit to Lahore, Hakim Saeed revealed that he had a list of people who had withdrawn dollars from banks a day before the state of emergency was imposed on Pakistan and withdrawal of foreign currency was banned after the nuclear testing on May 28.

He said that the list contained names of businessmen and politicians from both the ruling and opposition parties. "If these names were disclosed there would be an uproar in the country", he said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and opposition leader Benazir Bhutto sent condolence messages. The deputy inspector general of police has formed a team of experts to investigate the killing, but predictions are that like many other cases in the past, the murder of Hakim Saeed will remain a mystery.