KHUZDAR: Prominent tribal elder and central leader of the Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) Nawab Amanullah Khan Zarakzai was shot dead along with his grandson and two guards in an ambush in Zehri tehsil of Khuzdar district on Saturday.
Levies officials said that the tribal elder was targeted when he was returning home — in Noorgama of Zehri tehsil — from Babul area after attending a dinner at around 2am.
Nawab Zarakzai, they said, was travelling along with his 14-year-old grandson and two guards when armed men hiding in nearby mountains opened fire on his convoy near Noorgama area.
“Armed men targeted the vehicle in which Nawab Amanullah Zarakzai was travelling. He died on the spot along with his grandson and security guards,” a senior Levies officer said, adding that the attackers fled after the assault.
Khuzdar’s Deputy Com-missioner retired Major Ilyas Kibzai and Kalat Scouts Commander Col Arshad Malik rushed to the site along with a heavy contingent of Frontier Corps and Levies personnel soon after receiving information about the incident and shifted the bodies to the district hospital in Khuzdar.
Nawab Amanullah Khan Zarakzai was a son of the late Baloch leader Nawab Noruz Khan Zarakzai and for long was affiliated with the BNP-Mengal.
Other victims of the attack were identified as Mardan Niaz Khan Zarakzai, and security guards Nisar Ahmed Zehri and Sikandar Magsi. The bodies were handed over to the heirs after completion of medico-legal formalities.
The cause of the killing could not be ascertained immediately, but Levies officials said it could be personal enmity. “We are investigating the incident and security forces are conducting raids for the arrest of attackers,” said tehsildar of Zehri tehsil Mir Ahmed.
Meanwhile, slain tribal leader Amanullah Zarakzai, his grandson and two security guards were buried in their native graveyard in Zehri area. Hundreds of people, including the central leadership of BNP-Mengal — MNA Agha Hassan Baloch, acting president of the party Abdul Wali Kakar, MPA Malik Naseer Shahwani and Human Rights Secretary Musa Baloch — attended the funeral prayers.
Member of the National Assembly and BNP-M president Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal condemned the killings of Nawab Zarakzai and his grandson.
“This loss has deprived us all; I am lost for words today, devastated to learn that Shaheed Amanullah with his friends and innocent grandson have been brutally killed in the middle of the night,” said Sardar Mengal while expressing his grief on Twitter. He also prayed for the departed souls.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan condemned the murder and said: “The government of Balochistan has directed district administration and LEAs to utilise all resources in order to nab the culprits involved in the killing of senior leader of the BNP-M.”
He said that no one would be allowed to sabotage the peaceful environment in Balochistan.
Saleem Shahid from Quetta also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2019