Tuesday May 17, 2022

Celebrated Pakistanis who met unnatural deaths

December 10, 2016

LAHORE: Since the birth of Pakistan, scores of is celebrated citizens have met unnatural demises; the latest in the list being the highly popular singer-turned-religious cleric, Junaid Jamshed, who lost his life in a plane crash Wednesday.

The 52-year old Junaid left for his heavenly abode hardly five-and-a-half months after renowned Qawwal and vocalist, Amjad Sabri, was brutally gunned down by extortionists in Karachi on June 22, 2016 and less than five months after model Qandeel Baloch was killed on July 17 this year.

These ill-fated, yet widely-acclaimed personalities dying unnaturally include country’s Prime Ministers, Presidents, Governor, Chief Ministers, Ministers, judges, front-line politicians, renowned academicians, singers, film artists, religious scholars, widely-acclaimed religious leaders, educationists, high-ranking personnel of Armed forces, key officials of national law-enforcement agencies, eminent bureaucrats heading top public and private institutions.

Many of these personalities had ironically died young—right at the peak of their professional careers. An exclusive research conducted in this context by the "Jang Group and Geo Television Network" reveals that although the frequency of these leading national personalities dying unnatural deaths has increased manifold during the last decade or so, many important figures including former President Pervez Musharraf, former Premier Shaukat Aziz, former Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Muhammad Yousaf, top politicians Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Hamid Saeed Kazmi, Ameer Muqam, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and the ANP Chief Asfandyar Wali Khan etc have somehow managed to survive deadly attacks aimed at taking their lives.

Here follows the list of well-known Pakistani personalities meeting unnatural deaths since 1947: Year 1948: On November 26, a distinguished Lahore-based industrialist Rafi Butt (1909-1948) had perished in an airplane crash around Vehari at the age of 39 only. He surely is the first-ever known Pakistani to have died in this fashion.

At the age of only 24, Rafi established the first Muslim bank in northern India, and by the time he was 27, he had gone on to lay the foundation of the Central Exchange Bank. At 34, he was appointed Member of the Muslim League Planning Committee by Quaid-i-Azam.

(Reference: April 14, 1945 edition of the Civil and Military Gazette)

Year 1949: On December 13, Major General Iftikhar Khan (1909-1949) died in a plane accident. The plane was flying from Lahore to Karachi when it crashed, killing Major General Iftikhar Khan, Brigadier Sher Khan and 24 others. Major General Iftikhar had been nominated to become the first local Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Army after General Douglas Gracey’s retirement.

(Reference: The December 14, 1949 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald)
1951: On October 16, country’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in Rawalpindi.

1958: On May 9, an important NWFP politician Abdul Jabbar Khan (popularly known as Dr. Khan Sahib) was murdered in Lahore. He was the brother of Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Baccha Khan) and uncle of late Wali Khan.

Dr, Khan Sahib was assassinated at his son Sadullah Khan’s 16 Aikman Road, GOR, Lahore residence by a disgruntled Land Revenue clerk Atta Mohammad.

1972: On January 5, an excellent dancer and Punjabi film actress Niggo was allegedly killed at her mother’s house by her estranged husband a film producer Khawaja Mazhar.

On June 8, a man had entered famous Jamaat-e-Islami leader Dr Nazir Ahmed's clinic in Dera Ghazi Khan and had shot him dead. Late Dr Nazir had defeated Mohammed Khan Leghari, the father of former president Farooq Leghari, on a National Assembly seat in Dera Ghazi Khan in 1970's general election.

1973: On December 2, Pashtun nationalist Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai, father of Mehmood Khan Achakzai, was assassinated in Quetta.

1974: On November 11, eminent lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri's father, Nawab Mohammad Ahmad Khan, was allegedly killed on orders of then Premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

1975: On February 8, former Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Hayat Mohammad Khan Sherpao, was assassinated in a bomb explosion at Peshawar University. He was one of the co-founders of the Pakistan People’s Party.

1979: On July 3, folk singer Alam Lohar died in a car accident.

1981: On September 25, former Pakistani Premier Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain's father and former Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi's uncle, Chaudhary Zahoor Elahi, was murdered in Lahore.

1983: On December 6, TV and film actress Najma Mehboob lost her life unnaturally in a train accident in Lahore. While shooting for a film, she was trying to save a child walking on a railway track while a train was speeding in.

1984: On November 21, Lollywood actors Aslam Pervaiz and Iqbal Hasan succumbed to injuries caused by a car accident.

1986: Superb comedian Rafih Khawar Nannah committed suicide in Lahore on June 2, 1986. Despite the dominance of Sultan Rahi and action films, the mostly comic act of the versatile Nannah and Ali Ejaz had gained immense popularity in the first half of the ’80s, and the duo was seen in more than 50 movies in the main lead in few years that followed.

1988: On April 10, Air Commodore (Retd) Khaqan Abbasi, former Federal Minister for Industries and Production in General Ziaul Haq’s cabinet and father of incumbent PML-N Federal Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was killed in the Ojhri Camp incident.

On August 17, 1988, the C-130 carrying then Pakistani President-cum-Army Chief General Ziaul Haq, the then ISI Chief General Akhtar Abdur Rehman and then US Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphael, etc. had blasted 10 minutes after taking off from Bahawalpur  It was reported to be an act of sabotage.

1991:On October 3, former Martial Law Administrator of Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa, former Governor and Chief Minister Lt Gen Fazl-e-Haq was assassinated by an unknown assailant in Peshawar.

1993: On May 1, Chairman of the MQM Azeem Ahmed Tariq was killed in Karachi.

On September 29, former Punjab Chief Minister, Ghulam Haider Wyne, was gunned down in Mian Channu, Punjab.

1994: On December 4, Muhammad Salahuddin (Editor of Urdu weekly Takbeer) was shot dead outside his office.

On December 26, prominent poetess and civil servant Perveen Shakir had left for hear eternal abode after a fatal car accident near Zero Point in Islamabad.

1995: On August 6, dazzling film beauty Nadira was gunned down in Lahore allegedly by her husband.

December 9 of the same year, MQM Chief Altaf Hussain’s 66-year old elder brother Nasir Hussain and his 28-year old nephew, Arif Hussain, were killed and their corpses were found from Karachi's Gadap Town.

1996: On January 9, legendary Pakistani film industry hero Sultan Rahi, was killed near Gujranwala on the GT Road by unknown men while he was returning to Lahore from Islamabad. 

On January 15, famed poet Mohsin Naqvi was shot dead in Lahore.

On June 10, a retired Sindh High Court judge, Justice Nizam Ahmed, and his son Advocate Nadeem Ahmed were shot dead in front of their Karachi residence

On September 20, former Premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s elder son, Mir Murtaza Bhutto, was killed in Karachi. Murtaza was assassinated along with six other party activists. Among the dead was Ashiq Jatoi, the acting provincial chief of the Pakistan People’s Party (Shaheed Bhutto Group). Jatoi was brother-in-law of Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, a former caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Pretty tinsel town actress Naina, known for her deep blue eyes, was also shot dead in Lahore in 1996.

1997: On July 5, Malik Shahid Hamid, a former managing director of the KESC, his guard and driver were killed by the death-row target killer Saulat Mirza, who was later awarded death sentence and hanged.

1998: On October 17, former Sindh Governor, Hakim Said, was killed in Karachi.

On August 25, a talented Lollywood sensation Marvi was murdered at Karachi’s Tariq Road.

1999: On April 15, Pashto actress Shamshad alias Yasmeen Khan was killed by her husband in Peshawar. 

2001: On July 26, Managing-Director Pakistan State Oil, Shaukat Raza Mirza, was shot dead in an ambush by two unidentified masked men near the PSO House in Clifton, Karachi.

On July 28, Siddiq Kanju, former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, was killed.

On December 21, Ehteshamuddin Haider (the elder brother of former Sindh Governor and an ex- Pakistani Interior Minister Lt. Gen. (Retd) Moinuddin Haider), was shot dead by assailants near Soldier Bazaar, Karachi.

2002: On May 7, noted religious scholar Dr Ghulam Murtaza Malik, was shot dead in Lahore.

2003: On February 20, the then Pakistan Air Force Chief Mushaf Ali Meer, his wife and 16 others had perished when their plane had hit a mountain in foggy conditions near Kohat.

On February 22, stage comedian Ghiasuddin alias Shauki Khan had expired in a road mishap near Kasur.

On July 25, three civil judges (Sagheer Anwar, Shahid Ranjha and Asif Mumtaz Cheema) were killed inside the Sialkot district jail, while the lower judiciary arbiters were on their monthly judicial inspection.

On October 6, MNA Maulana Azam Tariq (chief of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan) was assassinated by unidentified gunmen in Islamabad.

2004: On May 30, head of Islamic Deobandi religious school Jamia Binoria Karachi, Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, was gunned down in the port city.

2006: In June, Muhammad Jamshed Jadoon, an Anti-Terrorism Court judge in Gilgit, was murdered in a public park in broad daylight.

On July 14, Allama Hassan Turabi (a Shia religious scholar and chief of Tehrik-e-Jafaria Pakistan) and his 12-year-old nephew were killed in a suicide attack near his Karachi residence.

On August 26, a veteran nationalist and former Chief Minister of Balochistan, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was killed, along with 37 armed tribals, in a military operation in Dera Bugti.

2007: On January 27, at least 13 people, including the Chief of Peshawar City Police Malik Saad, were killed in a suicide bombing near a crowded Shia mosque in Peshawar.

On February 17, a suicide bomber had killed 15 people including a judge Wahid Durrani inside a courtroom in Quetta.

On February 20, Punjab Minister for Social Welfare Zil-e-Huma Usman was shot down in Gujranwala.

On May 13, Syed Hammad Raza, a senior official at Pakistan’s Supreme Court, was shot dead near his home in Islamabad. 

On July 27, Balochistan government’s spokesman Raziq Bugti was shot dead by assailants at Quetta.

On September 15, unidentified assailants shot dead former MNA Maulana Hassan Jan (a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader and Wafaqul Madaris Vice Chairman) at Peshawar.

On December 27, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a shooting and suicide bombing at Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi.

On December 28, a former PML-Q minister Asfandyar Amirzaib (the grandson of Wali-e-Swat) was killed by a roadside bomb in Swat.


On February 7, Major General Javed Sultan was killed in South Waziristan, along with seven other army officers when his helicopter crashed while returning to Kohat from Wana.

On February 25, Pakistan Army’s top medic Lt Gen Mushtaq Baig was killed at Rawalpindi, after a suicide attack had ripped apart the vehicle.

On August 25, an ANP lawmaker Waqar Ahmed, his brother and other family members were killed by a rocket attack at his Swat residence.

On November 19, Maj-Gen (R) Ameer Faisal Alavi (a former head of the Army’s Elite Commando Force or the Special Service Group), was gunned down in Islamabad.

2009: On January 26, Hussain Ali Yousafi (Chairman of the Hazara Democratic Party) was shot dead at Quetta.

On February 11, an ANP provincial lawmaker Alam Zeb Khan was killed in a remote-controlled blast at Peshawar. 

On June 12, Sarfraz Ahmed Naeemi (a leading Sunni Barelwi cleric with anti-Taliban views), was killed in a suicide attack at the Jamia Naeemia Madrassa in Lahore.

On October 25, the Punjabi-born Balochistan Education Minister Shafiq Ahmed Khan, was shot dead outside his residence at Quetta. He was a member of the Pakistan People’s Party.

On December 1, an ANP politician Shamsher Ali Khan was killed at Swat.

On December 4, Major General Bilal Omar Khan had embraced martyrdom after militants attacked the Parade Lane mosque in Rawalpindi Cantonment. General Omar was the director general of the Pakistan Army’s Armoured Corps at that time.

2010: On January 3, a former provincial NWFP Education Minister Ghani-ur Rehman was killed in a roadside bomb attack.

On July 14, former Senator Habib Jalib (a nationalist leader for the Balochistan National Party) was assassinated at Quetta.

On July 24, Mian Rashid, the son of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa’s Information Minister, Mian Iftikhar, was shot dead near Nowshera.

On August 1, an MQM MPA Raza Haider was shot dead in Karachi, after six unidentified gunmen had opened fire at him.

On August 4, Frontier Constabulary Commandant, Sifwat Ghayur, killed in a powerful suicide blast in Peshawar.

2011: On January 4, 2011, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was killed by his own bodyguard in Islamabad.

On January 13, 2011, Geo Karachi reporter Wali Khan Babar was killed.

On June 1, 2011, a helicopter carrying Director-General of Punjab Rangers Major-General Mohammad Nawaz and three others, including his son Asif Nawaz (who was his father's ADC), had crashed into the Indus River near Layyah district

On December 29, Police Surgeon Syed Baqir Shah was shot dead in Quetta.

2012: On January 1, a Shia leader Askari Raza had breathed his last in a sectarian-motivated target killing.

On May 28, SP Shah Mohammad was killed in Karachi. He had taken part in the Karachi operation during the 1990s against a political party. In June, renowned Pashto language singer Ghazala Javed was shot dead along with her father in Peshawar.

On August 30, gunmen had shot dead a Quetta judge Zulfiqar Naqvi along with his driver and police bodyguard in a suspected sectarian attack.

On September 7, SP Investigation Quetta Jamil Kakar was shot dead.

On October 15, Senior Superintendent of Police Khurshid Khan was killed in an attack on a police check-post at Peshawar-Kohat Road.

On November 7, Superintendent of Police Hilal Haider Khan was killed by a suicide bomber in Peshawar.

On December 22, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister and a key ANP leader, Bashir Bilour, was killed by a suicide bomber in Peshawar. 

2013: On January 16, MQM legislator in Sindh Assembly, Syed Manzar Imam, was killed by six unidentified gunmen in Karachi.

On March 13, Parveen Rehman, a leading social worker in Pakistan and head of the Orangi Pilot Project was shot dead.

It was also in March 2013 that renowned industrialist Ali Asghar Rajani was killed in Karachi.

On May 18, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Senior Vice President Zahra Shahid was assassinated outside her house in Karachi Defence.

On June 21, a provincial Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker Sajid Qureshi and his young son were assassinated in Karachi.

On August 6, Senior Superintendent Police Hilal Ahmed was killed in Gilgit-Baltistan’s Chilas town.

On August 8, DIG Police Operations Fayyaz Sumbul was killed in Quetta.

On September 16, Major General Sanaullah lost his life in the roadside bomb explosion in Upper Dir district.

2014: On January 9, SSP Karachi Crime Investigation Department, Chaudhry Aslam Khan, embraced martyrdom in the line of duty.

In February, Aqib Shahani, the son of District and Sessions Judge Jacobabad, Khalid Hussain Shahani, was killed.

On February 27, noted religious scholar, Taqi Hadi Naqvi, was gunned down in the Port city.

In March 2014, an Additional Sessions judge Rafaqat Awan was among the dozen people killed in an attack on an Islamabad court.

In June, unknown gunmen had opened fire in Quetta, killing Environmental Tribunal judge, Sakhi Sultan.

On September 8, Ali Akbar Kumaili, elder son of former Senator Allama Abbas Kumaili, was apparently killed on sectarian grounds outside his ice factory located in Karachi.

On September 10, a known religious cleric, Maulana Masood Baig, who was associated with the prestigious Jamia Binoria Aalimiyah, was gunned down in Karachi too.

On September 18, Dr Shakil Auj, Dean of the Islamic Studies Faculty of the University of Karachi, was killed.

2015: On April 24, noted female activist Sabeen Mahmud was gunned down in Karachi.

On August 5, unknown men killed an additional district and Sessions judge, Tahir Khan Niazi, in Rawalpindi.

On November 24, Pakistan Air Force Flying Officer Marium Mukhtiar became the first female pilot to have died on a mission when a PAF trainer jet crashed near Kundian, Mianwali.  

In December, model and stage dancer Sangam Rana’s body was found hanging by the ceiling fan in Lahore.