HANGU: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) Farid Khan was killed when armed men sprayed bullets on his vehicle in Mohalla Sangerh in Hangu city on Monday. Farid Khan and his driver died on the spot while his brother sustained injuries in the deadly attack.
The sources said that Farid Khan, along with his brother Shah Nawaz and driver Ayaz Khan, was on his way home after offering Fateha in the Speena area when unidentified armed men opened fire on his vehicle near the Shahi Mosque at 5:35pm.
Farid Khan was killed on the spot while his brother Shah Nawaz and driver Ayaz Khan Nawaz and driver Ayaz Khan were critically injured. They were shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital in Hangu where the driver succumbed to his injuries. The news of his death prompted hundreds of people in Hangu to reach the hospital.
The enraged people took to the streets and smashed the government installations in Hangu bazaar. There were also reports of gunshots being heard amid the protest.The protesters burnt tyres and blocked the Hangu-Thall road for vehicular traffic. They shouted slogans against the local administration for not providing security to the slain MPA. There were reports that the protesters torched five shops in the main bazaar.
Deputy Commissioner Tahir Zafar Abbasi imposed curfew in Hangu district to meet any eventuality in the wake of the killing of Farid Khan. The security forces and law-enforcement agencies were deployed to secure the hospital. They also sealed all entry and exit points in the district in a bid to arrest the accused.
Meanwhile, the security forces and police launched search operation in the surrounding areas close to the site of the incident and arrested some suspects who were later shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.
Farid Khan, who was 42-years old, belonged to a poor family of Rabiakhel tribe in Orakzai Agency. The residents of 29 villages had fielded him as their consensus candidate to contest the recent election from PK-42 Hangu and got him elected him as MPA. It was an upset as the JUI-F candidate Attiqur Rehman, his main rival, who had twice won election from this constituency in the past. With the consent of his supporters, Farid Khan later joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the hope that the ruling party would help him solve some of the problems confronting the electorate in Hangu.
It wasn’t clear if militants were involved in the attack on Farid Khan or whether it was due to the sectarian strife in Hangu. His family and supporters said he didn’t have enmity with anyone.
Meanwhile, District Police Officer Sajjad Khan said that the security forces and law-enforcement agencies in joint action arrested the TTP commander Mufti Hamid, alias Yasir, and three militants, whose identity could not be disclosed at this stage because further investigation was underway. He said that motorcycles and weapons had also been recovered from their possession.
The leaders of Sunni Supreme Council announced to continue their protest of closure of the Hangu bazaar for an indefinite period.The funeral prayer for the slain MPA would be offered at 10:00am at Dervezi Palosa in the limits of City Police Station.
The Controller of Examinations of BISE Kohat, Shafqat Mahmood told The News that the ongoing FA/FSc examination specially the Chemistry paper had been postponed for the candidates in Hangu district.
In Lahore, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Ameer Syed Munawwar Hasan, Naib Ameer and Senior Minister in KP Sirajul Haq and JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch said the killing was failure of security agencies against the enemies working to ignite the sectarian strife in the country.
Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) president Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi alleged Farid Khan was the victim of a particular sect which had been involved in an attempt to start sectarian riots in Hangu allegedly at the behest of a neighbouring country. He said the killing was aimed at failing the PTI government in KP.
Agencies add: Later on, Farid Khan’s driver also succumbed to the injures in hospital. Senior police officer Bin Yamin Khan said Farid Khan’s vehicle came under fire as he was returning from a meeting.
Following the killing of Farid, angry protestors took to the streets and damaged several shops in Hangu Bazaar.Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari, Mian Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan, caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi and KPK CM Parvez Khattack condemned the killing.
In a message of condolence on social media, PTI Chairman Imran Khan sympathised with the family of slain lawmaker. “May Allah give his family strength to bear the loss. My prayers go out to them,” he tweeted. Kyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak directed police to launch a probe into the attack.