LOWER DIR: One suspect was arrested by the Counter Terrorism Department and under interrogation as all four vicitims who were killed in an attack on a PTI MPA’s vehicle in Lower Dir were laid to rest at their ancestral graveyards on Sunday.
Malik Liaqat Ali Khan, the injured MPA, was shifted to a hospital in Islamabad from Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital on Sunday, his relatives said.
The administration and law enforcement agencies denied imposition of curfew in the area, saying that a search operation was in progress to arrest attackers and their handlers.
Four persons, including two policemen, were killed and three others injured when the lawmaker’s vehicle came under attack in his home town late on Saturday night,
Malik Liaqat was returning home after attending a funeral at Nagotal Maidan on Saturday night when unknown assailants peppered his vehicle with bullets.
Jehan Alam, brother of Malik Liaqat, Yasir, his nephew, police constable Naseer and Levies sepoy Bacha Rawan died on the spot.
Besides the MPA, his aide Muhammad Shuiab, Huzaifa and Shakireen were seriously injured.
Law enforcement agencies had cordoned off the area after the attack. The suspects, taking advantage of the dark, managed to flee.
A spokesman for Zaimdara police station said a case against unidentified persons had been registered while a suspect, identified as Bakhtfoor, was taken into custody by the Counter Terrorism Department. He was taken to an undisclosed place for interrogation.
Moazzam Jah Ansari, the chief of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police visited the scene of the attack and offered fateha.
On Sunday, two relatives of the MPA were laid to rest at Gal Maidan. Moving scenes were witnessed during their funeral prayers.
The locals called upon the government to arrest the killers and give them exemplary punishment.
Lower Dir Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Zubair and several officials of district administration attended the funeral of Levies sepoy Bacha Rawan at Ouch cricket stadium who died in the attack.
The deputy commissioner laid floral wreaths on his grave.
Talking to his relatives, the official assured him that killers would be arrested soon.
Maidan is the home town of Maulana Sufi Muhammad, founder of Tehreek-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi. It remained under control of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan in 2009.
Although a military offensive cleansed the region of the militants, residents say some of them fled to Afghanistan and continued to operate from there to sabotage peace in the region.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has directed the inspector general of police to take steps for the immediate arrest of the suspects.
Condemning the incident, the chief minister termed it a cowardly act and said the “culprits cannot dodge the law”.
“The people involved in the incident will be arrested and brought to justice soon,” the chief minister said.
Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2022