PESHAWAR: An officer of Pakistan Army was shot dead on Khushhal Road here on Friday.

A police official identified the officer as Lieutenant Colonel Tariq Ghafoor, who hailed from Kohat and was currently living in Hayat­abad. He was killed at around 2pm in an area under Sarband police station.

The officer was the son of a former inspector general of Frontier Corps, Maj Gen Fazl Ghafoor, who led the force in the mid-90s. Canton­ment Circle SP Kashif Zulfiqar told Dawn that the family owned a petrol pump on Ring Road. The deceased officer had gone to offer Friday prayers in a nearby mosque, accompanied by the manager of the petrol pump.

Lt Col Tariq stopped to take out something from the car’s trunk, while his companion went inside the mosque. According to SP Zulfiqar, the assailant struck at this point. The officer was shot twice; once in the head and probably died on the spot.

SP Zulfiqar said the case was being investigated and, according to unconfirmed initial reports, there were a number of attackers who were using a Mehran car.

He said the slain officer’s body had been shifted to the Hayatabad Medical Centre before police were informed about the incident.

According to him it was not clear if it was a case of target killing. Some information will be available, he said, after the family got an FIR registered.

Inter Services Public Relations confirmed the incident and said the officer was posted in Peshawar and was currently undertaking post-graduate studies in a public sector university.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the killing. The claim was made in a message sent to journalists by TTP spokesperson Mohammad Khurasani. On March 29 last year, an army colonel was gunned down in the Hayatabad locality.

Our Correspondent in Kohat adds: The funeral will be held at 2pm in Col Ghafoor’s native village Chambai, 13km south of Kohat city on Bannu road, on Saturday.

Soon after the news of the attack reached his village, hundreds of people gathered at his house to condole his untimely death.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2016

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