ANP leader among three killed in Swat
MINGORA: A local leader of the ruling Awami National Party, his police guard and a guest were killed in a pre-dawn attack on his residence in Matta area of Swat valley on Saturday.
Unidentified assailants barged into the hujra of Muzaffar Ali Khan, the district president of ANP and central leader of Swat Qaumi jirga, at 3am in Shakardara area of Matta tehsil. The attackers hurled hand grenades at the inmates and then started indiscriminate firing, which continued for a long time.
As a result Muzaffar Khan, community police official Abdullah and a guest Sher Rehman of Shah Dheri were killed while another policeman Zaminzada sustained wounds.
The bodies and injured were taken to Matta hospital. Security forces and police reached the spot and started search operation after cordoning off the area.
Later, the slain ANP leader was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard amid tight security. Veteran politician Afzal Khan Lala, MPA Sher Shah Khan, Brig Tariq, DPO Gazi Ghulam Farooq, party leaders and workers, relatives and large number of people participated in his funeral prayers.
Locals said it was the first incident of its kind in Swat after security forces cleared the region of militants. The ANP leader had to leave his house in the past on account of threats from militants owing to his pro-government stand. His brother was killed at Suhrab Khan Chowk, Mingora, in 2008 while his son Aftab Ali was gunned down in 2009 in Mardan district where they were residing as IDPs.
Several houses of his family members were blown up by militants for their affiliation with the ruling Awami National Party. The local leaders and workers of ANP demanded of the government and security forces to arrest the attackers and their sympathisers in the area to bring them to justice.
Meanwhile, the leaders and members of Swat Qaumi jirga, through a joint statement, expressed grief and sorrow over the killing of the active member the jirga and demanded of the government and security forces to net the assailants forthwith and award them exemplary punishment.
They lauded the role of the slain leader in restoration of peace and elimination of militants from the region. They said that he and his entire family suffered hard owing to opposing terrorists and their collaborators.
They expressed concern over security lapse, saying despite presence of security forces and police in the area militants killed three persons and managed to escape unhurt.
They said if such target killings continued unabated then nobody would stop resurgence of militancy in the region. They said that the act had created fear and panic among the local population. They demanded stern action against the perpetrators of the gory incident.