Anyone could have foreseen that this would happen. A Chinese dentist and his wife were seriously injured and their assistant (also Chinese) was killed in Karachi yesterday. Obviously they were targeted by Baloch separatists who have reportedly shot down two helicopters recently. The injured dentist is the brother of another Chinese dentist who used to be my neighbor until 2009 when I lived in Clifton. The brother Anthony Hu has his own clinic near my office in Clifton. For many years I and my wife used to be his patients. He has Pakistani nationality and speaks good Urdu.

Karachi has had Chinese dentists for more than a hundred years now. In fact, I don't think there were dentists of any other ethnicity or nationality in the 1950s. There was an expensive Chinese dentist with an office in the Excelsior Hotel when I was in my teens (in the 1960s). His son Mervyn Hussain is also a dentist. He's a very good writer but for some reason he hasn't written much in recent months. I'm not sure but I believe Adrian Hussain is his brother. He too is a good writer and now writes a weekly column in DAWN.

I can't understand why the police were not able to anticipate the attack on the Chinese couple. Their clinic is in perhaps the most crowded area of Karachi (Saddar) where it's easy for anyone to kill and disappear in the adjoining streets. They should have advised the dentist to employ security guards. But I don't think our agencies are competent and I doubt if they'll be able to find the killer.