CHAMAN: Awami National Party leader Dawood Khan Achakzai was injured in a gun attack on a farmhouse in the Jungle Pir Alizai area of Qilla Abdullah district during the wee hours of Monday.
Achakzai received a bullet to the right shoulder after unidentified armed men opened indiscriminate fire at the farmhouse where he was sleeping. It was around 4am when the incident occurred.
The personal security guards of Achakzai immediately retaliated after taking positions. However, the assailants managed to escape.
Relatives of Achakzai, who is also a former senator, rushed him to the trauma centre of Civil Hospital, Quetta.
“The injured ANP leader’s condition is out of damager,” a doctor said.
A former MPA and close relative of the ex-senator, Zamarak Khan Piralizai, confirmed the firing incident by unidentified armed men at the guesthouse of Achakzai and said that he was injured in the attack. “The armed men fled when the guards returned fire,” said Piralizai.
ANP Balochistan President Muhammad Asghar Khan Achakzai and former MPA Zamarak Khan Achakzai strongly condemned the attack on the ex-senator, terming it a terrorist act. They demanded inquiry into the firing incident and arrest of the assailants.
Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies have cordoned off the entire area and started a search operation.
This is the second attack in seven days on ANP leaders as on last Tuesday, Haroon Bilour, an ANP candidate for PK-78 Peshawar constituency, and 22 others were killed in a suicide attack on the party’s corner meeting. Over sixty people were injured in the attack.
The blast occurred near the vehicle of Bilour, son of the late ANP leader Bashir Bilour, in the Yakatoot area of Peshawar. The casualties were driven to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) where medics confirmed the death toll.
Bashir Bilour, the father of Haroon Bilour, was also martyred in a suicide bombing targeting his rally in the fabled Qissa Khawani Bazaar of Peshawar in December 2012. The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had claimed responsibility for that attack.
Further, the attack on Achakzai in Qilla Abdullah comes three days after a suicide attack on a corner meeting of the Balochistan Awami Party in the Daringarh area of Mastung claimed 149 lives, including party leader Siraj Raisani’s.
The attack, which is said to be the deadliest in Balochistan’s history, has sent shockwaves across the country ahead of the general elections 2018 scheduled to be held on July 25.
Caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, ministers, political parties’ leaders and various others visited the Sarawan House in Quetta and offered their condolences to the bereaved family members.
Siraj was the younger brother of former Balochistan chief minister Aslam Raisani and Balochistan National Party-Mengal leader Haji Lashkari.