Members of Hamilton’s Pakistani community are trying to come to terms with the kidnapping of Faqir Ali during a violent home invasion early Thursday that left one of his sons dead and another son with gunshot injuries.
Ali, 63, was later found in serious condition, police said.
Usman Khan, founder and former chairman Jinnah Cultural Society of Hamilton, said he arrived in Canada in 2004 and has known Ali since then.
Khan described Ali as a longtime Hamilton resident who is known to the community.
“He’s very nice, humble, courteous and always invites people at his place. He’s a very hospitable person,” Khan told CBC News.
“We’re all sad, very sad, especially for his kids.”
Khan, who also operates a driving school, said he taught three of Ali’s children to drive.
Ali was “taken forcefully” from his home near Glancaster Road and Dickenson Road in Mount Hope around 3 a.m. ET, police said. He was found on Beach Boulevard near the Burlington Lift Bridge around 9 a.m. with serious, life-threatening injuries, Hamilton police spokesperson Const. Indy Bharaj said.
They’re very humble, very nice with other people.– Usman Khan, founder, Jinnah Cultural Society of Hamilton, on the Ali family
“I was shocked — I couldn’t believe this can happen to Ali family,” Khan said.
“His wife [is] so nice, very good, always smiling. Very humble family, they’re very humble, very nice with other people.
“He always invites people, ‘Oh you gotta come to my place, we’ll have a good party and we’ll cook you a barbecue.’ I never got a chance to go to his home to eat anything, but he always invites, so this kind of a person,” Khan added.
Khan said he would frequently see Ali at Hamilton Mountain Mosque where they go for Friday prayers.
“I saw him in the mosque on Eid [al-Fitr] day [then] I saw him at his place two months ago when I came to pick up his daughter for a road test.”
Investigators believe the incident was targeted, but are still working to determine a motive. The victims were not known to police.
“The police have a role to play now and they have to find out the culprits as soon as possible, so we’re all concerned now,” Khan said. “It’s very concerning for the entire community.”
Ali’s brother-in-law, Suliaman Khalid, who spoke with CBC News from Pakistan, said he was due to get married on Oct. 10, but the wedding has now been postponed so the family can focus on supporting his sister, Ali’s wife, who is in shock and has been admitted to hospital, he said.
“She had already booked the flight, I think the 25th of September — she [and] her sons were coming back to Pakistan,” Khalid told CBC Hamilton.
“She’s in shock,” he said. “Her husband is found very critically injured, life-threatening injuries. I’m a doctor, a resident physician in Pakistan, so I know. When your husband is critically injured and already he was kidnapped, one son is dead already and one son is in [the] operating room, so of course she is in shock.
“Her mental state is not very good already, so we feel that she’s very lonely over there. She needs us right now, but in reality we are far from her, very far.”
Khalid said his brother and another sister are making arrangements to travel to Canada as soon as possible to be with his sister.
Pakistani community ‘very upset’
Zahid Butt, founding director and senior vice-president of the Pakistani Business Association of Hamilton, said he has known Ali since 2005.
“Our family, we know each other and he calls me sometimes because … we would sometimes just connect with each other regarding community matters,” Butt told CBC News.
He said he has been receiving telephone calls all day from members of the Pakistani community, and that they are “very upset.”
A website that appears to be Ali’s personal site describes Ali as a “lawyer, businessman, spiritual leader and public figure.” It also says Ali is a former president of the Pakistan Canada Association of Hamilton and that he was involved in campaigns of several political figures in Canada. CBC News has not been able to independently confirm this information, however.