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PESHAWAR: Former secretary commits suicide

December 09, 2004

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PESHAWAR, Dec 8: Maj (retd) Javed Alam Khanzada, a former senior bureaucrat, committed suicide here on Wednesday after experincing what appeared to be an intense bout of depression, police and family said.

His 35-year-old son, Usman Khanzada, said that Mr Javed had shot himself with a 30-bore pistol inside his room after a discussion with his children at his cantonment residence at around 11:30am.

His children rushed upstairs after hearing the gunshot and found his body lying in a pool of blood in the bathroom. The bullet had pierced his temple. He was taken to the Combined Military Hospital, Peshawar, but doctors pronounced him dead.

Mr Usman said his father had been suffering from depression and under treatment for the past one month or so. The body of the 65-year-old Khanzada will be taken to his native Shadi Khan village in Attock district in Punjab. His burial is scheduled to be held at 11am on Thursday.

During his lifetime, Mr Khanzada had been one of the most powerful bureaucrats in the NWFP, and served in almost all coveted positions and then landed in jail to face corruption charges.

He was arrested during the National Accountability Bureau's first major swoop soon after the military takeover in 1999. He was charged with possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, illegal allotment of plots and the so-called Ring Road case.

Maj (retd) Khanzada, who last served as secretary food in the NWFP, was widely known to have been a batch-mate of President Pervez Musharraf but even that association could not save him from the clutches of the accountability bureau.

He was released after striking a plea-bargain deal with the NAB in 2000 and agreed to pay Rs60 million after enduring a year-long jail term. It was during his incarceration that the late Khanzada suffered his first nervous breakdown. He was said to be suffering financial problems ever-since and was reported to have filed a writ petition in the superior court to reclaim some of the plea-bargained money.