CHARSADDA: One of the last few Khudai Khidmatgars and witnesses to the August 12, 1948 Babara massacre, veteran Awami National Party leader Dost Muhammad was gunned down in Charsadda on Thursday.
Popularly known as Dosti Khan, Dost Muhammad was present at the party office in Utmanzai when unidentified motorcyclists sprayed him with bullets. The 88-year-old was an ardent follower of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and a life-long companion of Wali Khan.
City police inspector Ijaz Khan Abazai told The Express Tribune preliminary investigation revealed it was an incident of target killing.
The deceased was a close relative of the Bacha Khan clan. He was expelled from school along with Wali Khan over a protest against the British Raj in 1942. MPA Yasmeen Peer Muhammad Khan and former provincial minister and ANP Charsadda president Arshad Abdullah Khan are also related to Dost Muhammad.
Police registered an FIR on the complaint on the deceased’s nephew Fahim Khan. ANP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa said the killing reflects the failure of the provincial government. In a joint press release issued on Thursday, ANP K-P President Amir Haider Khan Hoti, General Secretary Aimal Wali Khan and Information Secretary Sardar Hussain Babak condemned the murder.
“ANP workers have been targeted since a long time, while the K-P government has maintained a criminal silence,” Hoti said. He demanded the provincial government take serious action against the culprits and bring them to justice. ANP Charsadda announced three days of mourning following the incident.
Dost Muhammad, who was interviewed by The Express Tribune almost a year ago, said he was also among the Utmanzai jirga, convened by Bacha Khan in his native village. He and his older brother had compiled the names of massacre victims, which according to him were in the hundreds.
In a separate incident, former ANP office-bearer Tajmeer Shah was also shot dead in Katozai village of Shabqadar tehsil on Wednesday night.
Shah was en route to his house when unidentified motorcyclists intercepted him and gunned him down. The deceased was amongst those who led a peace march against militants in the tehsil in 2008.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2015.