According to Hoti, the 26-year-old Mian Rashid Hussain was shot by two men on a motorcycle as he walked outside his house with his cousin Amjad, who was injured in the incident. Rashid, however, died on the spot. He was Mian Iftikhar’s only son.
The body of the information minister’s son was taken to Pabbi Satellite Hospital following the incident. According to the post-mortem report, Rashid was hit multiple times – shot in four times the head and six times in the chest. Amjad, his cousin, was safe, shot only in the leg, and was taken to Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar, where, according to media officer Jamil Shah, his condition is not critical.
Investigations into the murder are under way, but family members are convinced that the incident was a targeted hit. Militants had been hurling threats at Mian Iftikhar for a while now, and it had been reported on several occasions that his name, along with most of Awami National Party (ANP)’s leaders, was on the hit list of militants. Mian Iftikhar is also the most vocal critics of the Taliban in the provincial government.
Every politician who speaks out against these beasts is threatened and they get to some of them and some of them are lucky for a while. As an example, a few days ago, Alami Majlis-e-Tahafuz-e-Khatam-e-Nabuwat threatened Federal Minister of Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti. “Shahbaz Bhatti ko bhi gustaakhi par gardan uRadain ge”. What was his crime? It was speaking out against the gunning down of the two Christian brothers in Faisalabad accused of blasphemy. Did anyone in the media speak out for him? No. Does anyone even take note of the threats until one day someone is blown up or their son is gunned down? Instead there are articles about the “ground zero mosque”, about Hillary Clinton’s statements, about fake degrees, sugar crisis, everything else under the sun. The common thread is that they are focused on easy targets – targets that won’t gun you down or write a schoolteacher a letter threatening to cut her children’s heads off.
In the meantime our politicians are being threatened, their families are killed, and life goes on.
What really struck me was a conversation i had with my mother this week where she told me that one of her friends said very seriously that Rehman Malik, Babar Awan and Zardari should be declared “Wajib ul Qatal” – ironically the discussion was in the context of the Ahmadi mosque attacks. I guess in a society shaped by extremists where debate is on their terms or not at all even “civil society” has adopted their tactics.