PESHAWAR: Newly elected Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) provincial lawmaker Fareed Khan was shot dead Monday by unknown gunmen in Hangu in restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, police said.
Fareed Khan's vehicle came under fire near his residence near Singair village in Hangu. Police said the lawmaker and his driver were killed, while his brother Shahnawaz was injured in the attack.
Khan had won the May 11 general election as an independent candidate, and had later joined the PTI, the ruling party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He won the PK-42 seat by securing 16,129, defeating influential Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) candidate and two times MPA Attiqur Rehman, who received 12,680 votes in the polls.
PTI chairman Imran Khan condemned the incident.
"Strongly condemn the murder of PTI MPA Fareed Khan from Hangu. May Allah give his family strength to bear the loss. My prayers go out to them," said the PTI chief.
Imran also telephoned KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and directed him to immediately make efforts to arrest the killers.
So far there has been no claim of responsibility for the killing from any militant group.
A 'common man'
Fareed Khan was described by many as an honest and a ‘man of the masses’.
Although he originally belonged to Orazkai Agency, Khan had been living in Hangu for many years.
Reportedly, Fareed Khan only had one Rs100-note in his pocket at the time of submitting his nomination papers for the elections. The 41-year old lawmaker had also been a student of the Fine Arts Department at the University of Peshawar but was unable to complete his higher education.
He was the only independent MPA to join the PTI without putting forth any conditions.
In an informal chat with Dawn.com following the oath-taking ceremony of the KP assembly, Khan alleged that political parties had offered him millions of rupees to join them, but he opted to join the PTI as he believed it would resolve the problems of the masses.
Police claimed to have arrested the alleged killer of the PTI MPA along with three other suspects and they are currently being interrogated.
Police sources claim that Mufti Hamid – the alleged mastermind of the attack – with three other suspects have been arrested from the areas of Hangu. The police also claimed to have seized the motorcycle and the Kalashnikov rifle used in the attack.
The district police officer Sajjad Khan, however, said that they have made some arrests and are investigating but could not disclose their names as the investigation process is currently underway.
Mufti Hamid is said to be affiliated with TTP’ Mullah Nabi Hanfi group and was involved in different terrorist activities in Hangu.