PESHAWAR: Ghazanfar Ali Khan lived in one of the most volatile parts of Peshawar. The Kohat Road resident had gone home on 50-days leave. His parents were planning on arranging his marriage. Instead, they ended up arranging his funeral.
For the unfortunate family, perhaps the biggest shock was that their son’s violent death occurred in Karachi, and not a suicide attack or bomb blast in Peshawar.
Khan fell prey to unknown target killers in the Khokrapar area of Karachi on Saturday. He was on his way to Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Faisal base to meet his sister. He was a medical technician with the PAF and stationed at the Nawabshah Air Base, according to his family.
Ghazanfar’s younger brother, Aamer Niaz, told The Express Tribune that Ghazanfar had gone to the Karachi along with another colleague to pick up a medicinal consignment from PAF Masroor base.
On Friday, he had iftari with his sister at Faisal base, unaware that it was the last time he would be with her.
“After picking up the medicines, Ghazanfar set out to meet our sister again at around 4am on Saturday morning and was attacked,” Aamer said. “My brother was mercilessly riddled with bullets. He had wounds on his face, hands, legs and abdomen,” Aamer said, with a frozen expression.
When one of Khan’s friends called him on his cell phone, he was shocked to find a doctor on the line. The doctor informed him of Khan’s death, which was quickly relayed to his family. His family rushed to Karachi to bring back his body. Khan was brought to Peshawar last Saturday and was buried in his ancestral graveyard early on Sunday.
“My father had just arrived home after a three-day tableeghi (preaching) trip and upon hearing of my brother death lost consciousness,” Aamer said. Since then, Khan’s father has been in a state shock. Aamer said PAF had not taken any action following his brothers’ death.
“Ghazanfar died, but he is not the only one. Countless others are dying on a daily basis in Karachi, in the violence, and the government is doing nothing to stop this madness,” he said, finding it hard to hold back his emotions. He stated that our society has reached a consensus on condemning the Taliban, but not against the ongoing massacre in Karachi.
“The Karachi terrorists need to be eliminated, and if the government does not have the guts to carry out this task, the army should be called in, just like it was called against Taliban in the tribal areas and K-P,” he added.
Though the cycle of violence is plaguing much of country, the Pakhtun community in K-P feels that they are being targeted from Karachi to Khyber. This disparaging feeling is slowly growing amongst ordinary Pakhtuns.
Yet another reason to at least try to bring an end to the violence.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2011.