Unidentified people disguised as army personnel entered Qaumi Watan Party lawmaker Bakht Baidar Khan’s hujra on Tuesday in Lower Dir and killed six people, including the MPA’s brother.
However, Bakht Baidar survived the attack because he was not in the country. Though it has not yet been ascertained if Baidar was the target of the attack, he does not have any known enemies, indicating it could be an act of militancy.
District Police Officer Ghulam Habib told journalists that Ishaq Khan, Bakht Baidar’s brother, was entertaining party workers at his hujra in Asbanr, Adenzai tehsil around 1am when unidentified men wearing army uniforms entered the room.
According to Habib, the assailants huddled all the men together and opened indiscriminate fire.
Ishaq, police official Zahid and party workers Mursaleen, Mustaqeem, Kifayatullah and Javed died on the spot, while Nazar was injured and taken to Batkhela hospital, said Habib.
He added that it was later learnt that two men among the deceased were brothers while Zahid had been deployed at the hujra for security duty.
The DPO further said an FIR had been filed against the unidentified killers and a search for them is under way.
The funeral prayers of all six men were offered at main GT Road in Lower Dir on Tuesday. Later, they were buried in their respective graveyards. Locals as well as political leaders from various parties participated in the funeral.
QWP Chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao also arrived in Lower Dir to condole with Bakht Baidar.
Ishaq had contested elections for the provincial and national assembly once during his career, but had not been elected.
Bakht Baidar was elected to the provincial assembly in May last year on a QWP ticket. He is currently serving as the provincial general secretary of the party.
Baidar also served as the provincial minister for industries, commerce and labour and was removed from the provincial cabinet on November 13, 2013 over charges of corruption, reportedly on the directives of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan. The move subsequently led to QWP breaking out of the coalition government in K-P.
MPAs in the cross hairs
In October last year, former minister for law and parliamentary affairs Israrullah Gandapur was killed along with nine other people in a suicide attack.
Gandapur was meeting guests at his hujra in Kulachi, DI Khan on Eidul Azha when the suicide bomber struck.
This was not the first attack on Gandapur. Earlier in April, his convoy was attacked prior to the May elections. Two roadside bombs detonated near his vehicle as he was heading from Kulachi to Rohri to address a gathering on April 25, 2013. When his vehicle reached Gor Guldad at around 10am, two bombs exploded. However, Gandapur escaped unhurt.
Similarly, on June 3, newly-elected MPA from Hangu, Farid Khan was shot dead in the district.
Unidentified armed men opened fire at Khan’s vehicle near his residence close to Singair Village. Khan died on the spot while, his driver and bodyguard sustained injuries in the gun attack.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2014.
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