American cardiologist shot dead at Rabwah

Two persons on motorbikes shot 11 bullets in Pakistan-born Mehdi Ali

ISLAMABAD – A volunteer American cardiologist was shot dead on Monday at a cemetery in Rabwah, a member of his minority Ahmedi community said.

Mehdi Ali had taken his five-year-old son and a cousin to a graveyard at dawn to pray when he was shot, said Salimud Din, a spokesman for the community. “He came here just one or two days ago to work at our heart hospital, to serve humanity and for his country,” he said.

“Two persons came on motorbikes. They shot 11 bullets in him.” Ali was born in Pakistan but moved abroad in 1996. He had returned to do voluntary work at a state-of-the-art heart hospital built by the Ahmedi community in Rabwah.

Ali, 51, moved to Columbus, Ohio, in the United States, where he founded an Ahmedi Centre and raised funds for medical charities in Pakistan, the spokesman said. He is survived by a wife and three young sons. “We are waiting for an application from the family after which we will start investigations,” said local police officer Ahmed Ali.

Ali's killing follows the fatal shooting of a 65-year-old Ahmedi man last week. A teenage gunman killed Khalil Ahmad in police custody after the grandfather was arrested on blasphemy charges for objecting to stickers denouncing his religion. In Pakistan, blasphemy carries the death penalty and cases against both religious minorities and Muslims are rising.

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