Famous Qawwal Amjad Sabri gunned down, TTP says they killed him ‘for blasphemy’


Renowned Qawwal Amjad Farid Sabri was shot dead in Karachi’s Liaqatabad area in broad daylight on Wednesday afternoon, two days after masked men kidnapped the son of Sindh province’s top judge from outside a supermarket in the posh Clifton area.

Police officials said two gunmen shot at the windscreen of Sabri’s car as it drove off a bridge in the congested Liaquatabad area of the city. Sabri’s relative, Saleem Sabri, who was travelling with him, was also killed in the attack.

Sabri, who was on his way to a studio for a Ramzan transmission, was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Qari Saifullah of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Hakeemullah Mehsud group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they had killed Sabri ‘for blasphemy’.

Amjab Sabri car 1

Talking to reporters at the crime scene, Additional Inspector General of Sindh Police Mushtaq Mehar said that two men riding a motorcycle fired shots at Sabri’s Honda Civic car.

“The killers used 30-bore pistols to shoot Sabri five times; the bullet to the head took the Qawwal’s life. The attackers took the Hassan Square route to escape,” he said, adding that police had recovered five .30 calibre casings from the scene of the attack.

Both front side windows were shattered and three bullet holes could be seen on the front screen of Sabri’s car.

Ghulam Ahmed, an eye witness said that he saw two motorcycle riding men fire shots at one side of the car. “Then they turned and fired four shots on the other side of the car,” he added.

Police surgeon Dr Rohina Hasan said that Sabri was shot thrice – twice in the head and once in the leg.

Amjab sabri car

Fakhre Alam, chairman of Sindh Censor Board, claimed in a tweet that Sabri had earlier submitted an application for security, but the Sindh Home Department did not act on it. However, an official source claimed the Home Department had received no such request. The SSP Central also stated he was not aware of any such request.

Amjad Sabri, 45, was one of Pakistan’s finest Qawwals, known for his soul-stirring renditions of mystic poetry.

Government reacts:

As the nation mourned the untimely demise of a much loved celebrity, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and directed the relevant authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) President Asif Zardari and his son, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, also condemned Sabri’s killing and sought a report from the Sindh government.

On his part, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah took notice of the incident and ordered the Sindh police chief to submit a report regarding the assassination.

The CM also suspended the DSP Liaqatabad and SHO Liaqatabad following the incident.

Meanwhile, the MQM’s Coordination Committee announced that the party had decided to suspend all political activities for three days in Sabri’s honour.

It said that black flags would be hoisted at all party offices and that leaders would wear black armbands.

“Brutal killing of a living legend #AmjadSabri is a national tragedy and unbearable loss. We lost our national assets,” MQM leader Mustafa Azizabadi said on Twitter.

“All political and organisational activities have been suspended,” he said.

Amjad Sabri and blasphemy:

Earlier in 2014, the Islamabad Hight Court (IHC) had issued a notice in a blasphemy case to Amjad Sabri along with two TV channels for the playing of a Qawwali during a morning show.

The traditional Qawwali sung by Amjad Sabri had mentioned religious figures, which was deemed offensive.

After a blasphemy case was registered against Geo News, advocate Tariq Asad had put the onus on Qawwal Amjad Sabri and the lyricist for the blasphemy row while seeking to ban the Qawwali that caused the issue.

The court had also issued notices to the federal information secretary, chief executive of ARY, anchors Mubashir Lucman, Nida Yasir and Shaista Lodhi, chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and the Cable Operators Association of Pakistan chairman.


One and a half years after the passing of the National Action Plan (NAP), it has become clear that while the government continues to pay lip service to the slogan, there is very little that is happening on the ground.

Last week, the civilian government did not even present a report on the implementation of the NAP on the occasion of the second anniversary of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, while the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) spokesman also mentioned only four out of the 20 points of the Plan. He talked about ban on formation of armed militias, revival of the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA), disallowing banned organisations to resurface under new names and bar on media coverage to extremists/terrorists.

As for NACTA, which was supposed to provide a platform to intelligence agencies to coordinate their efforts against extremism and terrorism in the country, it does not even exist on the ground. First, it was reported that the Finance Ministry was reluctant to release the required funds for the Authority and then the Interior Ministry said that the delay is because of the fact that there is no building available for NACTA.


  1. KUNJAR WAHABIS, with the baraakats of this Holy month May Allah destroy all Wahabi supporting countries!!!!!

  2. Bismillah hi ghalat ho gai ! Nothing said against any politician or PPP. Only said that killing of a Qawwal was sad enough. What was there to be approved ? Shame.

    • This useless Government should resign immediately as they are fully backing the filthy Wahabi hateful murderers, all captured LJ SSP TTP killers should be hung in public!

  3. Pakistani fanatics are killing the best of Pakistan…they and all their supporters and sympatheisers must be stopped…this barbarian Taliban mindset must be erased from society…

  4. Remove this useless government they should resign in this shame that they are not ding anything yar tm logon ko allah ke samne jawab dena hai thora to khyal karo hamara choro apna hi khayal kar ke ye pakistan acha bana do

  5. You pakistani better known for selecting good terrorist ( mujhaddin or jihadi) and bad terrorist. Believe or not your country future is:- pakistan taliban, haqqanni network, Lashker toiba and many more. Stop differentiation. Believe in humanity. Then all problem solve in world.

  6. We are a failed state…the army does not want peace in Pakistan. ..because peace means value of army and money allocated to army goes down…the generals are the richest people in our country…how ?

  7. You are right khalid khan…the army/isi is the one who is supporting these terrorist ….so the civilian govt is kept in check…even after 60 + years pakistan is a backward country because of our army/isi

  8. iss ka army sey kia taluq hey..woo tou khud rooz apney jawan shaeed kara rahee hey …tum loog kuch sock k tou bola karoo…TTP & other israli and indian agents are doing destabilizing acts in Pakistan…

    Even Raheel sharif is leading and doing much work of goernment …Government waley tou bus sub lootney mein musroof hein..who is securing Pakistan and fighting against such monsters? think about it.

  9. Everybody know that TTP is funded and backed by India Raw…in the fake name of Islam they are doing activities here….Investigate about TTP first how they have originated and who is behind them.

  10. A forest takes 1000 years to grow but is burnt down in 1 night. Will all the reports and the suspensions mentioned in your column make any difference to the loss to Pakistan’s culture and to world music?

  11. The people who are blaming Army is actually supporting india or indian citizen. Evey one knows RAW is behind MQM who is doing this

  12. Yeh Qoom Begar Dandy k nahi chal sakti, British Government se theek chalti thi jb inko rules pe chala ti thi, Azadi k laik nahi hum log . Kash asa hojay koi Dosra Islamic mulk ( UAE or Saudi Arabia) Puray Pakistan ka Handover le le , apne leaders behtay apni currency chalay. or saray Pakistani leaders ko post se haata de.

  13. Very strange: When you pay respect to the prophet as in this case, you are killed and when you don't pay respect to the prophet, allegedly as in case of Salman Taseer you are killed. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) must be very distressed over the killings going on in his name.

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