"he (the handler) said I don’t have the money."
A Pakistani man was arrested for carrying out a contract killing in Lahore. Police said that he shot the man.
It was revealed that the killer carried out the job so that he could pay for his sister’s wedding.
Police identified the man as Azhar. Following his arrest, Azhar confessed to the crime and said that he was paid Rs. 10,000 (£50).
This is one of many contract killing cases in the city where ‘shooters’ are paid very little despite the huge risks.
Azhar said: “They gave me Rs. 10,000 as advance [to kill the man].”
He revealed that his client had promised to pay him Rs. 190,000 (£970) after the killing was carried out.
The Pakistani man added: “I shot the man and when I went to collect money, he (the handler) said I don’t have the money.”
He said that he needed the money to pay for his sister’s wedding.
The investigation revealed that a man had hired Azhar. He had offered him Rs. 200,000 (£1,030) to “off” the target.
Azhar was given Rs. 10,000 as advanced payment and shot the target. However, the Pakistani man never heard from the handler who ended up keeping the rest of the agreed amount.
Police officers in Lahore believe that there are as many as 20 active gangs which use contract killers to commit murders for them.
Officers have said the groups were involved in various murders, including that of stage performer Kismat Baig.
Usman Haider, a CIA official in Lahore, said that people hire contract killers so they avoid getting directly involved in the murders.
Azhar is one of many people who face a stark reality when it comes to contract killing.
In many cases, amateurs will carry out a killing for someone with a personal vendetta for whatever they can get. In most cases, they are paid a few thousand rupees.
Hitmen in Lahore are part of organised crime groups similar to how it is in Western countries but there are also people willing to do anything.
In Lahore, it is common for them to take a life for low sums of cash.
Within the city, hitmen are known as ‘shooters’, a term which became popular in gangster films originating in India.
News of how little it costs to have another person killed is worrying. A low-cost means it is easier for a person to have someone else killed. This indicates that the crime is more common.
It is also worrying from the perspective of the contract killer because in some cases, a person takes this path as they are desperate for money.
Some are promised a lucrative offer to carry out a killing only to be given a fraction of the original payment that was agreed.
It is an extremely low amount given risk and implications involved. Not only are the costs low, but vulnerable and desperate individuals are being hired rather than the professionals depicted in films.