PkMAP slams raid in Quetta targeting Mahmood Khan Achakzai

Published March 4, 2024
Mahmood Khan Achakzai, chairman of the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami party, arrives before the start of the voting process by newly-elected lawmakers to appoint Pakistan’s new prime minister at the Parliament House in Islamabad on March 3, 2024.  — AFP
Mahmood Khan Achakzai, chairman of the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami party, arrives before the start of the voting process by newly-elected lawmakers to appoint Pakistan’s new prime minister at the Parliament House in Islamabad on March 3, 2024. — AFP

QUETTA: The Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) strongly condemned a raid conducted on Sunday by the Quetta administration, which claimed to have recovered a piece of government-owned land “illegally occupied” by the party’s chairman, Mahmood Khan Achakzai, the presidential candidate contesting against PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari.

The party alleged that the raid was conducted at Mr Achakzai’s residence and was a reaction of “state institutions” after a speech Mr Achakzai recently delivered in the National Assembly.

However, Quetta Deputy Commissioner Saad Asad said earlier on Sunday that the raid was conducted to reclaim a piece of land located near Mr Achakzai’s residence. Mr Asad alleged that the reclaimed land, having an area of 2.5 kanals and encircled with a boundary wall, was illegally occupied by the PkMAP chief.

“The revenue staff and law enforcement agencies recovered the illegally occupied land and took it into custody,” Mr Asad said, adding that an armed man guarding the land was arrested as he attempted to obstruct the city’s assistant commissioner from performing his duties.

Govt claims to have recovered ‘illegally occupied’ land, party alleges raid prompted by chief’s NA speech

Sunday’s raid — conducted by the local administration in coordination with police and revenue department officials — came after a committee headed by Quetta’s assistant deputy commissioner (revenue) was formed to identify illegally grabbed pieces of land owned by the government of Balochistan. Many sites have been identified, including government and private properties, which are reportedly occupied unlawfully by different people.

PkMAP reaction

PkMAP Secretary General Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal condemned the raid targeting the party chairman and announced protest demonstrations across the country on Monday (today).

“Everyone knows the purpose of conducting a raid at the residence of Mahmood Khan Achakzai,” Mr Ziaratwal said at a press conference at the party secretariat late on Sunday night.

However, he said the party would not back out from its stance because of such raids by “some people and institutions”.

Mr Ziaratwal, accompanied by party leaders including Abdul Qahar Wadan and Nawab Ayaz Jogezai, alleged that the raid was a “reaction of state institutions” after a critical speech Mr Achakzai recently delivered in the National Assembly.

“We have received information that Mahmood Khan Achakzai and his children could be arrested through fake recovery of drugs from his residence,” Mr Ziaratwal claimed.

He said history was witness that PkMAP always supported the supremacy of the Constitution and law and never favoured any dictator.

He announced that the party would stage demonstrations and the lawyers’ community would observe strikes across the country on Monday to protest the Quetta administration’s action.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2024

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