Martyred son of Mian Iftikhar laid to rest
Pabbi: The funeral prayers of the martyred Mian Rashid Hussain, the sole son
of ANP leader and Khyber Pukhtukhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain
were offered in Pabbi.
Unknown armed men shot dead Mian Rashid Hussain, 27, on Saturday in his native
village. Local police have registered the case against unknown culprits.
Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Senior leadership of Awami National Party
including ANP provincial President Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Haji Ghulam Ahmad
Bilour and people from all walks of life attended the funeral.Police officials
have said that Rashid’s murder was a target killing, and an FIR has been
registered against three unidentified men.
Iftikhar’s son gunned down
Unidentified assailants shot dead the son of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information
Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain outside his residence on Saturday evening in what
is suspected to be a targeted hit by Taliban-linked militants.
27-year-old Mian Rashid Hussain was shot by two men on a motorcycle as he walked
outside his house with his cousin Amjad, who was injured in the incident.
Rashid, however, died on the spot. He was Mian Iftikhar’s only son.
The body of the information minister’s son was taken to Pabbi Satellite Hospital
following the incident. According to the post-mortem report, Rashid was hit
multiple times – shot in four times the head and six times in the chest. Amjad,
his cousin, was safe, shot only in the leg, and was taken to Lady Reading
Hospital, Peshawar, where, his condition was said to be stable.
Investigations into the murder are under way, but family members are convinced
that the incident was a targeted hit. Militants had been hurling threats at Mian
Iftikhar for a while now, and it had been reported on several occasions that his
name, along with most of Awami National Party’s leaders, was on the hit
list of militants. Mian Iftikhar is also the most vocal critics of the Taliban
in the provincial government.
minister has been vocal in his attacks on militants and leading the charge in
the media campaign despite receiving threats to his life.
“It is clearly a targeted killing,” a police official said. “The family has had
no blood feud, so who else could be behind the killing. We will investigate the
case, but my gut feeling is that it is the work of the militants.”
The fugitive head of the Swat Taliban, Maulana Fazlullah, in a recent video
address to what was shown to be a group of suicide bombers, told them to attack
the military and the ANP. “Even if some innocent lives are lost, the religion
allows it,” he said.
Hundreds of workers of the ruling Awami National Party have been killed in
attacks widely attributed to its stand against militants.
“This will not weaken our resolve,” Asfandyar Wali Khan said by telephone from
Karachi where he is undergoing medical tests.
Bashir Ahmad Bilour, senior minister in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government,
squarely blamed the Taliban for the attack. “Mian Iftikhar Hussain has always
raised a voice against terrorists and this was the only reason that his son was
attacked,” he said. However, he has vowed to never bow down to them.
The killing has been widely condemned, including by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza
Gilani, President Asif Ali Zardari and ANP Central President Asfandyar Wali
Khan. Following the murder, people, including politicians such as Haji Ghulam
Ahmed Bilour, ANP provincial president Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Mohammad Azam
Khan Hoti, Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, Bashir Ahmad Bilour, gathered at Iftikhar
Hussain’s home in Pabbi. Due to security reasons, people who were there to pay
their respects and participate were moved from the house to the nearby mosque.
Rashid’s family member Haji Niaz said that Rashid had recently completed his
post-graduate degree in Political Science from Peshawar University and was
working as an assistant director in Peshawar Development Authority. He was due
to be married soon, Niaz added.