NOWSHERA: The father of a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf worker who was killed two days earlier testified in court today that Awami National Party (ANP) leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain was not involved in the murder.
Habibullah was shot dead by an unknown gunman on Saturday during a political rally celebrating the victory of a PTI candidate in the local government elections in Nowshera outside ANP leader Iftikhar Hussain’s office.
The former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa information minister was arrested on suspicion of the killing the PTI worker in a case filed by Habibullah’s father Sher Alam.
Testifying in court today, Sher Alam said that he had not filed any complaint against the senior ANP leader.
“(Mian Iftikhar) is like my brother. I did not make any such claims and I have no grievances against him,” he told reporters outside the Nowshera district court.
Mian Iftikhar was presented in court after his one-day remand expired today, with a large crowd of supporters and party activists chanting slogans in favour of the former provincial information minister.
The court issued notices to the complainant and Mian Iftikhar for Tuesday, after which the ANP leader was taken into police custody again.
Speaking to reporters, Iftikhar’s lawyer Advocate Latif Afridi said that the deceased PTI worker’s father, Sher Alam cleared Mian Iftikhar today after appearing in court of his own will.
“(Sher Alam) said that he even tried to save Mian Iftikhar from the mob, and that he himself was beaten and his clothes torn. But he said that Mian Iftikhar did not kill my son and that he has not filed any complaint against him,” said Afridi.
Afridi said that an appeal for bail has been filed for Mian Iftikhar and that it is up to the court to decide now.
Speaking to reporters before he was taken to a police resthouse, Mian Iftikhar reiterated that he had no link to the killing.
“Even then when the police and army appeared helpness in front of the mob, his (Habibullah’s) father even then protected me like an angel. The murderer of his son is like my son’s killer. I will try my best that he is caught and brought to justice,” he said.
Iftikhar thanked Imran Khan for praising his courage in a statement, but urged the PTI chairman to stop his provincial government from “politics of revenge”.
He said that a fair investigation should be carried out into why his name was nominated in the case when there was no evidence or complaint against him.