Social activist from Pakistan, Sabeen Mahmud, was killed by unidentified gunmen in Karachi on Friday. The director of T2F, an open community for dialogue, was in a car along with her mother when she was shot at.
According to a report in Dawn, Sabeen left T2F close to 9 p.m. when the shooting happened and she succumbed on her way to the hospital. Her mother, who has also received bullet wounds and is in the hospital in a critical condition.
The Pakistani police spoke to the Tribune, saying that the murder was pre-empted and that they were looking at every possible way of nabbing the suspects. Inquiry officer Muhammad Arshad told the newspaper that Sabeen had been receiving death threats for quite a while now. “It is tragic that a woman of Sabeen’s stature, who was speaking out for human rights and for an end to terrorism, was killed so mercilessly”, he added.
On the same day, T2F had organized a talk-show on the contentious issue of Balochistan which is being seen by many as the reason for the attack on her. In a previous interview to Aurora, she had described T2F as a platform which is “An inclusive space where different kinds of people can be comfortable”.
The Second Floor as it’s called endearingly, was referred to as “The room that houses the crazy ones” in a sign by its door. The room has played host to book readings, lectures on evolution, talks on climate change and even indie rock concerts. Sabeen was open to voices from outside the mainstream and let people from all walks of life have their say on the platform.
“I just turned down a lot of money… I had this burning need to start. I did not want to wait to prove to some random third person that this is important, that it’s important to me”, she had said in the interview.
After news of her death filtered through, social media mourned and tributes flowed in. #RIPSabeen was also trending on Twitter in Pakistan.
I am deeply disturbed to learn of the blatant murder of Sabeen Mahmud. Inna lillahi wa inna Ilaihi raji'un. PM http://t.co/aARV6Ak3sl— Pervez Musharraf (@P_Musharraf) April 25, 2015
We condemn the tragic & unfortunate killing of Ms Sabeen Mahmud.Our heart goes out to bereaved family at this sad moment-1/2— AsimBajwaISPR (@AsimBajwaISPR) April 25, 2015
Int agencies been tasked 2 render all possible assistance 2 investigating agencies 4 apprehension of perpetrators &bring them to justice-2/2— AsimBajwaISPR (@AsimBajwaISPR) April 25, 2015
Salute to social media that President, PM, CM, & the GHQ have reacted to the murder of #SabeenMahmud although TV channels tried to ignore— Yousuf Nazar (@YousufNazar) April 25, 2015
"I will come back, and we'll be millions" Ernesto Che Guevara for #SabeenMahmud— FrancescaMarino (@francescam63) April 25, 2015