Attempted murder charge dropped… Pakistanis smoke peace pipe

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Carlos Kambaekwa

Windhoek-Tears of ecstasy and joy ran freely down the cheeks of adult men of Asian descent at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Monday when the complainant and the defendants decided to bury the hatchet just minutes before the first ball was bowled in the protracted attempted murder case involving Pakistani nationals.

Three Pakistanis – Thahir Naveed, Usman Muhammad and Khan Muhammad – stood accused of the serious charges of attempted murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm over a nasty shooting incident that took place in Dorado Park, Windhoek, exactly two years ago in May 2015 at the mosque.

Naveed and his co-accused appeared briefly in court but before the defendants were asked to plead to the charges the complainant, Syed Kamram Haider, withdrew the case on humanitarian grounds, consequently having the case struck from the roll.

Case number WNK-CRM 11478/2015 was slated for Court A but proceedings were over within minutes after Haider withdrew the charges laid against the accused. Haider, 36, is a businessman who owns a chain of cellphone and electronic appliance shops in Windhoek.

Pakistanis are generally known for their aggressive bowling and relentless batting on the cricket ground but there is also another side to them.

A relieved Haider relayed his ordeal to our crew, admitting he is now at peace and can go ahead unhindered with his businesses following an intervention by elders from the Muslim Committee.

The shooting, which according to eyewitnesses resembled a scene from a Hollywood movie, resulted from an argument between two of then men at the Hepworths Arcade in the heart of the city, leading to a physical scuffle before it moved to the other side of the city.

Both parties rushed to the Windhoek Police Station to lay charges against each other but the cops advised them to rather sort out the dispute between themselves since they are from the same clan.

“Upon hearing about the scuffle, the elders intervened and summoned both parties to the mosque to iron out their differences and ultimately smoke the peace pipe, but to our surprise and dismay, he (Mohammed Anwar Khan) opened fire. Three other people sustained injuries during the fracas,” said Haider.

“He was shooting randomly and one of the stray bullets hit my friend Shakeel Ashraf in the right leg. It should be noted that I’m a man with a family and business interests and he also has a family, that’s why I decided to withdraw the charges so that we can go on with our lives.”

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