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December 22, 2019

Ex-peace body head Turkistan Bhittani, nephew killed

National

December 22, 2019

TANK: Malik Turkistan Bhittani, the former head of a pro-government peace committee, and his nephew were killed and three other persons sustained injuries when unidentified persons opened fire on them near Kiri Wam village on the outskirts of Jandola on Saturday, police sources said.

According to the first information report (FIR) lodged with the Jandola Police Station by Muhammad Gul, they were boarding a vehicle when unidentified armed people opened fire on them. He added that his father Malik Turkistan Bhittaniand his nephew Azizur Rahman, son of Bostan Khan, sustained injuries and died on the way to hospital.

The other injured were identified as Fawad, a nephew of the slain Malik Turkistan Bhittani and one of his relatives Gul Alam.

The sources said that Muhammad Gul blamed the Nasrullah Group for the attack. According to sources, a feud was running between Malik Turkistan Bhittani and his rival Nasrullah Bhittani over the ownership of a vehicle stand. The injured and dead were shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital in Tank, located some 40 kilometres from Jandola where the incident took place. However, the injured were then referred to the District Headquarters Hospital in Dera Ismail Khan because of their serious condition.

The police registered a case against the accused and started an investigation. It may be noted that Malik Turkistan Bhittani shot to fame when he formed his faction and broke away from the Baitullah Mehsud-led Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in 2007. Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone attack in 2009. Malik Turkistan Bhittani lost over 50 relatives, including his brothers, in intermittent clashes with the Baitullah Mehsud group. He stood by the government and headed an anti-militant peace committee.

He fought gallantly against Baitullah Mehsud and survived several ambushes and attacks. Malik Turkistan Bhittani along with another pro-government commander Qari Zainuddin joined hands to challenge the mainstream TTP headed by Baitullah Mehsud. Qari Zainuddin was also killed in an armed attack in Dera Ismail Khan in 2009.