PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s Awami National Party (ANP) has condemned the murder of its Balochistan secretary information Asad Khan Achakzai and announced that it will observe three-day mourning to press the Imran Khan government for the arrest of the killers.
Asad Achakzai’s bullet-riddled body was recovered from the Killi Nosahar area in Quetta on Saturday. He had gone missing in September last year, Dawn reported.
ANP president Asfandyar Wali Khan issued a statement on Saturday demanding a probe into the murder of the party’s provincial spokesperson. “ANP held protest rallies and sought help from judiciary through a petition in the Balochistan High Court, but to no avail,” ANP chief said, as quoted by Dawn.
Later on Sunday, a funeral prayer for the slain ANP leader was held in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Chitral District.
“ANP Balochistan spokesperson Asad Achakzai’s funeral prayers were offered in absentia at the district secretariat under the auspices of Awami National Party Chitral District,” ANP tweeted (in Arabic).
While addressing the rally in Charsadda, ANP provincial president Aimal Wali Khan last week had said that the “mothers and sisters of missing persons were wandering on roads but nobody gave heed to their requests”.
He pointed that according to the available data over 6,000 people are missing across the country, of which 23 were forcibly disappeared in January.
Enforced disappearances have been a long stain on Pakistan’s human rights record. Despite the pledges of successive governments to criminalise the practice, there has been a very slow movement on legislation, while people continue to be forcibly disappeared with impunity.
Complete strike was observed in Quetta, the capital of Ballochistan to mourn the death of Asad Khan Achakzai on Sunday. The bullet-riddled body of Asad Khan Achakzai, a missing leader of the Awami National Party (ANP), was recovered from the Killi Nosahar area of the city on Saturday. Asad Khan had gone missing on Sept 25, 2020 while coming to Quetta from Chaman to attend a meeting of the ANP.
His body was found in a ditch in Quetta’s Nohisar area, a police spokesperson told SAMAA TV. He added that the man has been dead for at least three months.
Asad Khan Achakzai was the ANP’s information secretary in Balochistan and the cousin of the party’s provincial president Asghar Khan Achakzai.
Police sources told SAMAA TV that a suspect, who hails from Mastung, has been arrested for Asad Khan Achakzai’s murder and he was a member of the Levies force.
The party’s workers staged a sit-in at Quetta’s Manan Chowk and blocked the road for traffic. The slain ANP leader will be laid to rest in Chaman on Sunday, said family sources.
Awami National Party (ANP) has announced three-day mourning on the death of ANP spokesman for Balochistan Asad Khan Achakzai.
In a statement from party’s secretariat Bacha Khan Markaz, ANP senior vice-president Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said that the party flag would remain half-mast at all the district, provincial and central offices of the party as part of the mourning. He said the missing of Asad Achakzai and subsequent recovery of his body created questions as the protection of people’s lives is the responsibility of the state. He asked party workers to remain non-violent and wait for the party’s future course of action on the matter.
Deputy Inspector General of Quetta police Azhar Akram said that police had arrested a Levies Force official in the killing case of Asad Khan.
“Israr Ahmed was arrested from Sariab Road area on Saturday. He is behind the killing of Asad Khan and robbery of his car. The deceased’s car has been recovered from his possession,” the DIG said at a press conference.
He said that during interrogation, the accused had confessed to having snatched the car from Asad Khan and having killed him.
“Asad Khan gave a lift to the Levies Force official who killed him 10km away from the Killi Nosahar and dumped his body in a deep ditch,” the DIG said.
A police team accompanied by a magistrate visited the area, recovered the body and shifted it to the civil hospital for post-mortem. The five-month-old body was mutilated.
ANP joint secretary Rasheed Khan Nasar has confirmed the murder of Asad Khan and said: “Asad Khan is no more and his body has been recovered.”
Asad Khan was cousin of the provincial president of ANP Mohammad Asghar Achakzai, who is also parliamentary leader of the party in the Balochistan Assembly.
The ANP had been observing protest since October last year for recovery of Asad Khan.
Meanwhile, provincial general secretary of the ANP Babit Kaka has called for a shutter-down strike in Quetta and other districts of Balochistan on Sunday in protest against the kidnapping and murder of Asad Khan. He also announced that the party would observe week-long mourning in the province and its flag would fly at half-mast at the party offices.