PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan on Friday was attacked by unknown gunmen as he was addressing an event in Peshawar’s Regi area.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA said he was attacked while addressing a livestock-related event. He added that his security guards fired back at the attackers; however, the attackers managed to escape.
KP SSP Operations Kashif Aftab Ahmad Abbasi, speaking to Geo News, said: “Unknown men restored to aerial firing and their search is underway. The deputy speaker has been shifted to his home safely.”
The police officer said the deputy speaker was involved in a property dispute. Abbasi added that he came under attack during the inauguration ceremony of a development project.
The incident comes just days after militants overpowered a counterterrorism department centre in Banny and took personnel over there hostage. The facility was later cleared by the Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group (SSG).
In a press conference Friday, Additional IG KP Police Mohammad Ali Babakhel said that during the ongoing year, the police conducted 2,715 operations against terrorists.
“Ransom calls from Afghanistan and suicide bombings in Waziristan are huge challenges. However, we are witnessing positive outcomes of our operations in Malakand,” he said.
“Organised criminal organisations are also involved in operations against police. We have also punished 15,600 police officers in different cases, while 600 have also been fired from their jobs,” he added.
To ensure that they can defeat terrorists, the additional IG said police have requested the provincial government to provide them with night goggles.
Deteriorating law and order in KP
The law and order situation in KP has gone south over the last few weeks as an increase has been noticed in threats and attacks on security forces and high-profile political personalities after the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced ending the ceasefire with Islamabad.
The News, citing a source, reported: “Apart from the police, senior politicians have complained of receiving threats. The houses of some of them have also come under grenade attack.”
The provincial spokesperson of the Awami National Party (ANP), Samar Bilour, said that their provincial president Aimal Wali Khan had received a call about a plan of attack on his life.
Politicians affiliated with other political parties have either come under attack or received threats in the recent wave of violence.
Last week, an official said that on the night between Saturday and Sunday, a grenade was hurled at the house of former provincial minister Haji Muhammad Javed in Gulbahar Peshawar that did not cause any casualty or damage.
A hand grenade was also thrown at former federal minister Shehryar Afridi’s house in Kohat, while PTI MPA Aghaz Khan Gandapur’s residence was attacked by armed men in Dera Ismail Khan, leaving one policeman dead some time back.
PTI MPA Malik Liaqat was also wounded in an attack on his vehicle in Lower Dir in August, while four others, including his brother and nephew, lost their lives in the attack.
Business people and political workers have received extortion calls in the past few months. The majority of these incidents were not even reported to the police.