NOWSHERA: Former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa information minister and Awami National Party (ANP) senior leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain was arrested Sunday following the killing of a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) worker in Nowshera.
According to reports, a clash erupted in the wee hours of Sunday between workers of the two parties during a celebratory rally of the PTI in Pabbi area of Nowshera.
PTI workers were celebrating the victory of their candidate following the announcement of the area’s results in the local bodies’ polls held the previous day.
The temperature rose and firing broke out as the rally reached the ANP senior leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain’s office. PTI worker Habibullah was injured by a bullet fired from an unknown direction and succumbed to the wound. It was unclear who fired the bullet.
On suspicion of involvement in the murder, police arrested the former provincial minister from his office and registered a case against him and his security guard, Jahangir, on charges of murder and conspiracy for murder. The case was filed on the complaint of Habibullah’s father.
Police said that it was trying to ascertain whether the bullet was fired by Mian Iftikhar’s guard or a PTI gunman.
They said that they were also trying to arrest the ANP leader’s security guard.
The ANP leader has denied any involvement in the killing. He said that the ANP candidates in Nowshera constituencies had left for their homes after announcement of results, and that the PTI activist apparently died from a bullet fired by his own party’s gunman.
Speaking to Geo News, ANP leader Zahid Khan termed the arrest an ‘act of political revenge’ by the PTI-led KP provincial government. He said that due process of law was not followed and that any arrests should only have been carried out after proper investigation.
Court sends Mian Iftikhar on one-day physical remand
Mian Iftikhar was presented in a court in Nowshera where a judicial magistrate remanded him into custody for one day.
Speaking to media outside the court before he was taken by police, Mian Iftikhar denied any role in the killing.
“I can’t even think of this. I have suffered the martyrdom of my own son. All sympathies are with the young man who has died and his parents,” he said.