KARACHI: Mohammad Khan, the father of Naqeebullah Mehsud — a Waziristan native who was killed in a staged encounter in Karachi in January 2018 — passed away at the Combined Military Hospital, Rawalpindi, on Monday, his family sources and friends said.

Social activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir took to Twitter to announce the death of Mr Khan in second half of the day and said that he would be buried in his native town of Tank on Tuesday in village Makeen.

“He was a remarkable man with great resolve. We must carry forward his struggle for justice,” he said.

Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa condoled the death of Mr Khan. “COAS expresses heartfelt grief on demise of Mohammad Khan, father of Naqeebullah Mehsud,” Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet.

Quoting Gen Bajwa, he said: “May Allah bless the departed soul with eternal peace at Heaven, Amen. Efforts to ensure provision of justice as promised to him shall be pursued.”

In his late 60s and battling from cancer for a few years, Mr Khan was determined to pursue his son’s case for justice proving the deceased man innocent and send his murderers behind the bars.

His son, Naqeebullah, who hailed from South Waziristan, was among the four suspects killed in an “encounter” with a police team headed by former Malir SSP Rao Anwar in the Usman Khaskheli Goth on the outskirts of Karachi.

Naqeebullah’s family, however, disputed the former SSP’s claim, saying that the 27-year-old had no links with any militant organisation. The killing of young aspiring model was turned into a movement by civil society which later also attracted political parties and finally in January 2019, an anti-terrorism court in Karachi had declared Naqeebullah and three others innocent and quashed the cases filed against them.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2019