PESHAWAR: Awami National Party central general secretary and ex- provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain was arrested on Sunday over the death of a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf worker.
A PTI worker, Habibullah, was killed during aerial firing outside Hussain’s residence in Pabbi tehsil of Nowshera district in the early hours of Sunday.
“After the declaration of initial results of LG polls in the area, PTI and ANP workers gathered in Pabbi Bazaar and members of both the parties started chanting slogans against each other,” Station House Officer of Pabbi Police Shad Ali Khan said, while speaking to The Express Tribune.
“Things went sour and Mian Iftikhar came out to tackle the situation but it was too late,” he added.
The police official explained that activists of both parties resorted to aerial firing owing to which two PTI activists were injured.
“They were rushed to a nearby hospital but one of the activists, identified as Habibullah succumbed to his injuries after which his father Sher Alam filed a case against Mian Iftikhar and his guard Jehangir,” he added.
Hussain was presented to Judicial Magistrate in Nowshera where he was handed over to the police on a one-day remand for further investigations.
“Hussain was then shifted back to the sub-jail, police rest house at Pabbi police station as further investigations into the case were underway.”
A case was registered against the ANP leader and his guards following the worker’s death.
However, denying involvement in his murder, Hussain said, “I cannot think of murdering anyone.”
“The worker died owing to aerial firing from his own party’s workers,” he added.
Addressing the media from the court Hussain said, “I am very upset at the way I am being treated, I have done nothing and everyone knows that.”
“They [PTI workers] came to attack me and when the police failed to protect me two contingents of army were called in,” the veteran ANP leader added.
Further, he said, “If the police and army did not take action I might not be standing in front of you today.”
Chaos, mismanagement and violence marred local government polls in K-P which saw at least nine people killed and more than 32 injured in election-related violence across the province.
Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) district council candidate in Ameerabad, Tangi, Afzal Khan, was killed while ANP’s Youth Council candidate Alam Zeb Khan was also injured in a firing incident.
In addition to the QWP candidate’s murder, at least six people were killed in Charsadda. According to police, a man was gunned down in a brawl in Sherpao area while two others were injured.
In Tarnab area of Charsadda, two brothers belonging to the QWP were gunned down. Two more people were killed in Mandani area of the district in separate gun related incidents.
Police arrested the Charsadda general secretary for Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) Mufti Gauhar Ali for allegedly causing disruption in the voting process.
Further, police booked at least 58 people in Mardan, Charsadda and Swabi, registering cases against them.
PM expresses concerns
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has raised concerns over the arrest of Mian Iftikhar Hussain and sought a report from Inspector General (IG) Police and other concerned authorities in this regard.
In a statement on Sunday, the premier said high profile personalities belonging to political organisations should be treated with dignity and respect.