LAHORE: Two gunmen on a motorcycle shot and severely wounded an elderly Swedish woman at her Model Town residence on Monday.
Bargeeta Almby — the 70-year-old managing director of the social wing of an NGO called Full Gospel Assemblies of Pakistan (FGA Church) — was attacked when she reached her home in a car from her Kot Lakhpat office at around 2pm.
Ms Almby has been running various programmes in Pakistan, including a midwifery course and technical courses dealing with the rights of the poor, for about four decades.
SP Awais Malik of the Model Town police station said the assailants fled after shooting the Swede in her chest. She was immediately taken to Jinnah hospital by her neighbours and her condition was said to be critical. Mr Malik said the police were trying to determine the identity of the gunmen and also their motive. Chief spokesman of the FGA Church Liaquat Qaiser termed it a premeditated attack.
Talking to Dawn, he said a few days ago two men turned up at Ms Almby’s residence and beat her watchman up when he asked them to identify themselves. Quoting the Swedish lady’s maid and some of her neighbours, he said Ms Almby had just reached her residence when two motorcyclists appeared on the scene and fired a shot at her.
The assailants fled from the crime scene without taking any valuables which showed that it was not a street crime, as was being portrayed by some policemen, he added. Mr Qaiser said Ms Almby had been living in Pakistan for the last 38 years and was looking after social programmes that had nothing to do with politics.
Apparently she and her colleagues had not received any threat, he said. “Her condition turned critical because of excessive bleeding,” he said while quoting a doctor. A doctor treating the Swede said that she was initially put on ventilator as a precautionary measure. But later on, she was taken off the machine as her condition stabilised a little.
The police have registered a case under section 324 of the Pakistan Penal Code.