Political workers stage sit-in against murder of Bajaur poll candidate

Published February 2, 2024
Mourners carry the coffin during the funeral of Rehanzeb Khan in Bajaur on Thursday. — Dawn
Mourners carry the coffin during the funeral of Rehanzeb Khan in Bajaur on Thursday. — Dawn

BAJAUR: The workers of various political parties here on Thursday staged a sit-in against the killing of a election candidate and local leader of PTI Rehanzeb Khan.

Rehanzeb was killed in a gun attack in Sadiqabad bazaar on Wednesday by unidentified assailants. Besides workers of political parties, youth and social activists attended the sit-in in a large number. The sit-in was staged at the main square in Khar Bazaar after funeral of Rehanzeb.

Former provincial minister and PTI provincial vice-president Anwarzeb Khan, PTI district president and former lawmaker Gul Zafar Khan, PTI former MNA Guldad Khan, PTI former MPA Ajmal Khan, JUI-F leader Mohammad Imran Mahir, PPP leader Mohammad Anees Khan and several others addressed the sit-in.

They condemned the killing of Rehanzeb. They said that his vehicle was attacked just few meters away from police post. They said that no policeman tried to chase the attackers.

Protesters criticise police for not chasing attackers

Speakers said that it was not the first incident of its kind in the district. They said that several political workers were shot dead in broad daylight in different bazaars during the past few years. They said that police did not trace the killers.

They said that safety of people and their properties was responsibility of government and police but both of them failed to fulfil their responsibility. They lashed out at the district police officer for not providing security to Rehanzeb and several other election candidates despite the fact that they submitted written applications to his office several weeks ago.

Speakers asked the DPO to arrest the killers of Rehanzab without further delay. They said they would arrange a massive protest if police failed to arrest the attackers.

Earlier, thousands of people attended the funeral prayer of Rehanzeb in his native Shah Nari area of Khar tehsil.

Besides locals, PTI workers and youth from the neighbouring Lower Dir, Upper Dir and Mohamnad districts also attended the funeral prayer. It was one of the biggest funeral gatherings in the history of the district.

Rehanzeb, 32, was attacked when he along with a group of his supporters was campaigning in Sadiqabad bazaar. An engineer by profession, he was also the foundering chairman of Youth of Bajaur, a local right organisation.

He was an active social activist and arranged dozens of seminars and conferences on the issues of students, positive use of social media and importance of female education in the district during the past several years.

He also arranged a two-week protest sit-in against the alleged corruption in the appointments in various government departments Khar in June 2022. He was imprisoned for three weeks in different cases after the May 9 incidents.

Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2024

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