Assistant political agent NWA killed
MIRAMSHAH: An unidentified gunman on Tuesday shot dead Assistant Political Agent Azmat Jamal Khattak in his office in Mir Ali town in North Waziristan. A senior government official said Azmat Jamal Khattak had just finished his meeting with a 20-member tribal jirga of the Haiderkhel tribe in his office located in the heavily-guarded tehsil building when a 25-year old young man entered the office, pulled out a pistol and fired three shots at him.
“The armed man entered the office when the jirga members were leaving. He then started firing at the APA,” said the official. Pleading anonymity, he said the armed man also pulled out two hand-grenades and threw one of them at the APA while the other exploded in his hands. We thought someone carried out a suicide attack in the office of the assistant political agent but later found out that the blast was caused by the hand-grenades,î the official said.
He said Azmat Jamal Khattak sustained serious injuries while the assailant died on the spot. The injured APA was immediately taken to the military–run health facility in Mir Ali and was being airlifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Bannu in the army helicopter when he succumbed to his injuries. His body was later taken to his native Karak district where he was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard. He has left behind a widow and son.
Meanwhile, a large number of security forces arrived at the tehsil building and cordoned off the entire area. Besides the jirga members, security forces held for interrogation around 80 staff members of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), whose offices are located in the same premises, and other government servants working there. None of them was allowed to leave the tehsil building till evening.
Assistant Political Agent Miramshah, Taslim Khan was later sent to Mir Ali to help identify the Nadra employees and government servants. An official of the political administration in Mir Ali said the 80 Nadra employees were allowed to go home after their verification was confirmed by APA Taslim Khan.
However, the remaining government servants and the jirga members were told that they would have to stay in the custody of the security forces for some time. Till the filling of this report, all of them were in custody of security forces.
The troops recovered the body of the assailant and handed it over to local tribesmen. Local people said the assailant suffered wounds on his face and was beyond recognition. No one has claimed responsibility for the incident.
The incident raised tension in the volatile tribal region of North Waziristan where seven Pakistan Army soldiers were killed by militants in the Dattakhel area near the border with Afghanistan a few days ago.
Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar has condemned the assassination of APA Azmat Jamal Khattak and announced Rs5 million compensation for his family. He said that the heirs of the slain official would be given all privileges admissible under the rules.
The governor termed the incident a conspiracy against peace prevailing in North Waziristan and said those responsible for the heinous act would be brought to justice. Tribesmen in Mir Ali who knew the slain official described him as headstrong. They said the deceased often used tough language, which annoyed the tribesmen. This was the first incident of its kind in North Waziristan. Several years ago, then political agent Pirzada Khan had survived a suicide bombing in Miramshah.