Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 20th 2013 Contents A37
Monday, May 20, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Pakistan held a repeat election on Sunday in an
upscale area of the southern city of Karachi that
was plagued with allegations of vote-rigging, despite
the shooting death of a senior member of former
cricket star Imran Khan s party.
Khan blamed Zahra Shahid s killing late Saturday
night in Karachi on the Muttahida Quami Movement,
the same party he accused of vote rigging in the May
11 election. The MQM denied the allegations.
Gunmen shot Shahid in front of her home after
they tried to snatch her purse and then sped away
on a motorcycle, said police officer Sarfaraz Nawaz.
The culprits made it look like a robbery, but it could
have been a targeted killing, he said.
Shahid was vice president for Khan s Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf party in surrounding Sindh province.
Khan blamed the head of the MQM for the killing
on Twitter, saying "I hold Altaf Hussain directly
responsible for the murder as he had openly threatened
PTI workers and leaders through public broadcasts."
Hussain is currently in self-imposed exile in London
because of legal cases against him in Pakistan.
Khan also blamed the British government, saying
he had warned officials about Hussain s threats against
his party workers.
The MQM, which is the strongest party in Karachi
and has long controlled the city, has often been
accused of using violence against its competitors.
The party has boycotted the repeat polling being held
Sunday for a national assembly seat and two provincial
Turnout for the vote seemed light compared to
the crowds that came out on May 11. The vote was
being held at 43 polling stations in the NA-250 con-
stituency under the protection of police and army
The big winner in the May 11 national election
was the Pakistan Muslim League-N party, led by
former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which looks
set to form the next government. The party held off
a strong challenge from Khan, whose criticism of
the country s traditional politicians energised the
Khan has alleged vote rigging in different parts of
the country, and the election commission is repeating
the vote or doing a recount for eight national assembly
seats, including in NA-250.
Talib Hussain, a university student, said he was
up all night studying but couldn t miss the chance
"I didn t get a chance to cast my vote on May 11,"
said Hussain. "Luckily I got a second chance, so I
did not want to miss it."
The polling in NA-250 had been characterized by
extensive delays on May 11 because some polling sta-
tions opened hours late. Sunday s voting seemed to
be going smoother.
"Last time I was here and stood in line for four
hours but went home without casting my vote," said
Majid Hussain, a banker in the city. "This time I am
happy to cast my vote without any difficulty."
A Russian capsule carrying
mice, lizards and other small
animals returned to Earth on
Sunday after spending a month
in space for what scientists said
was the longest experiment of
Fewer than half of the 53 mice
and other rodents who blasted
off on April 19 from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome survived the flight,
Russian news agencies reported,
quoting Vladimir Sychov, deputy
director of the Institute of Med-
ical and Biological Problems and
the lead researcher.
Sychov said this was to be
expected and the surviving mice
were sufficient to complete the
study, which was designed to
show the effects of weightless-
ness and other factors of space
flight on cell structure.
All 15 of the lizards survived,
he said. The capsule also carried
small crayfish and fish.
The capsule s orbit reached
575 kilometres (345 miles) above
Earth, according to the news
agencies, which said this was far
higher than the orbit of the Inter-
national Space Station.
Russian state television
showed the round Bion-M cap-
sule and some of the surviving
mice after it landed slightly off
course but safely in a planted
field near Orenburg, about 1,200
kilometres (750 miles) southeast
Russian capsule carrying mice,
lizards returns to Earth
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