Battle lost: Peshawar commissioner dies of burn injuries

The officer died from burn injuries suffered on Sunday.

Our Correspondents October 29, 2013
The commissioner had suffered burn injuries in a gas explosion at a flat in Park Towers in Islamabad on Sunday. PHOTO: NNI/FILE


Peshawar Commissioner Sahibzada Aneesur Rehman, who was injured in an explosion, was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard in Mansehra on Tuesday evening.

Rehman died from extensive burn injuries which brought on a heart attack at a private hospital in Rawalpindi, earlier in the day. His namaz-e-janaza was offered at the Commerce College Ground, which was attended by hundreds of people.

The commissioner had suffered burn injuries in a gas explosion at a flat in Park Towers in Islamabad on Sunday. He and a woman who was present with him were taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), from where his family moved him to Quaid-i-Azam International Hospital, to mitigate the risk of infection.

According to the Pims spokesperson, he had suffered nearly 100 per cent burn injuries, which was refuted by doctors at the private hospital. They said he had suffered burns over 60 per cent of his body. Doctors had told the commissioner’s family that the next 24 hours were crucial for his recovery, but he was unable to survive.

Family sources claimed the explosion which injured Rehman and a woman, who received around 45 per cent burns, might have been a targeted attack on the commissioner.

The Islamabad Police, however, are treating the incident as an “accidental explosion caused by a gas leak.” Law-enforcement officials claimed there was no evidence to suggest the use of explosives at the site, which they did not even seal. The police have also publicly ruled out an assassination attempt.

The 29-year-old woman injured in the explosion is also in critical condition and was put on a ventilator on Monday evening, according to doctors at Pims. She has developed complications as her breathing has worsened.

Rehman was commissioner Hazara when US SEALs killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011. He was appointed as commissioner Peshawar in April. He had overturned a 33-year jail sentence awarded to Dr Shakil Afridi, for allegedly helping the US track down Osama bin Laden in August.

Family sources confirmed Rehman had received threats from militants in Peshawar. Rehman is survived by a widow, three daughters and a son.

Over the course of his 26-year career, he also served as assistant political agent Landi Kotal and Bajaur, commissioner Hangu, Hazara, Kohat and Peshawar, political agent Orakzai Agency, Commissioner Afghan Refugees. He also served as law secretary and also as district coordination officer Peshawar. He started his career as magistrate Abbottabad in 1987, after passing public service commission exams.

Rehman belonged to Shikiari, Mansehra. His late grandfather, a former senator of the Zia era, Sahibzada Muhammad Ilyas had settled in Abbottabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2013.


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