PESHAWAR/BAJAUR: The funeral prayer in absentia of Awami National Party information secretary for Balochistan Asad Khan Achakzai was held at Bacha Khan Markaz in Peshawar on Sunday and party leaders demanded judicial probe into the murder.
ANP flag flew at half mast at its offices as part of the three-day mourning it had announced on Saturday to condemn the killing. The party demanded judicial probe into the murder of Asad Achakzai and early arrest of the culprits involved in the case.
The funeral prayer was attended by ANP senior leader Ghulam Ahmed Bailour, central vice president Hussain Shah Yousafzai, provincial general secretary Sardar Hussain Babak, central finance secretary Hidatullah Khan and other leaders besides a large number of activists.
Speaking on the occasion the ANP leaders demanded judicial inquiry into the murder of Asad Achakzai and early arrest of the people involved in the crime. They demanded justice for the family of the slain leader.
Funeral prayer in absentia of Asad Achakzai held in Peshawar and Bajaur
Mr Bilour said that besides snatching other basic rights from Pakhtuns, they were also deprived of their lives. He said that genocide of Pakhtuns had been continued for the past four decades. He said that ANP offered matchless sacrifices in the war against terrorism.
He said that people were kidnapped in broad daylight and killed but state failed to fulfil its responsibilities by protecting lives and properties of citizens. He said that state institutions were bound to fulfil their constitutional duties and take practical steps to remove the sense of deprivation among all oppressed communities.
Mr Bailour urged Chief Justice of Pakistan to order inquiry into the murder.
ANP central general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain in a video message rejected the version of Balochistan police that a Levies man was arrested for killing the ANP leader during a bid to snatch vehicle from him.
“We reject the police statement which appeared in media before any proper probe into the matter because it is aimed at diverting public attention from the brutal incident,” he said.
He said that ANP had raised voice against forced disappearance of people with a clear stand and Achakzai’s murder was a clear message for the rest of the missing persons.
Sardar Hussain Babak demanded of the human rights organisations to raise the issue of killing of Pakhtuns. “Government should admit its failure to protect lives and properties of the people,” he said.
In Bajaur, ANP held a protest demonstration to condemn the kidnapping and killing of its spokesman for Balochistan Asad Khan Achakzai.
A number of party activists and leaders attended the demonstration held outside Bajaur Press Club. ANP district president Gul Aafzal Khan, general secretary Nisar Baz Khan, deputy general secretary Sadiq Akbar Jan, Sheikh Jan Zada and others addressed the protesters.
They said that the deceased had been missing for the last several months but the government of Balochistan did not take any step for his safe recovery. They said that the kidnapping and brutal killing of Asad Achakzai proved that Balochistan government failed to provide security to the people of the province.
Later, funeral prayer in absentia of the slain party leader was also offered.
Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2021