- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Gunmen riding on a motorcycle opened fire on Tuesday in the southern port city of Karachi, seriously wounding a senior leader of a political party and killing his driver, officials said.

Rasheed Godil from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement was attacked while he was in his car, leaving a marketplace in Karachi together with his driver, senior police officer Mushtaq Mehar told reporters.

Godil suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the neck, jaw and chest, his party said, and was taken to hospital in critical condition.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued a statement condemning the assault and saying he was praying for Godil’s recovery.

Godil and other lawmakers from MQM, which is influential in Karachi, resigned from parliament last week to protest what they called a military crackdown against the party and its supporters in Karachi. Pakistani authorities say they are conducting an anti-crime operation in the city and that it is not targeting MQM.

Meanwhile, the head of the religious Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, was holding talks with MQM leaders in Karachi, trying to convince them to withdraw their resignations and return to parliament. After the talks, Rehman said the discussions would continue and that he had received a “positive response” from MQM.

Another MQM leader, Farooq Sattar, condemned the assault on Godil as a “cowardly attack” and asked supporters to pray for the lawmaker’s recovery.

MQM is headed by Altaf Hussain, who has been living in self-imposed exile in London since early 1990s.

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