HANGU - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly member, Farid Khan Orakzai, was shot dead by unknown gunmen along with his companion in Hangu district on Monday.

The assailants opened indiscriminate fire on Farid Khan’s car near Shahi Masjid in Sangair locality, Hangu Bazaar, when he was going home along with his brother Shahnawaz and friend Muhammad Ayaz after offering fateha for the departed soul of a PTI worker at Spin Khawai village. As a result, Farid Khan, Shahnawaz and Muhammad Ayaz sustained multiple wounds and were rushed to District Headquarters Hospital Hangu where Farid Khan and his friend Ayaz were pronounced dead while his brother Shahnawaz was admitted to the hospital for treatment.

The police said PTI MPA Farid Khan Orakzai and his driver were killed while his brother Shahnawaz sustained injuries in the attack.

The news of the killing of Farid Khan spread like a jungle fire in Hangu district. Chanting slogans against the district administration, hundreds of charged enraged supporters of the MPA thronged the hospital and Hangu Bazaar.

The protesting people blocked roads, burnt tyres and set several shops on fire in Hangu Bazaar. The police blocked the ways leading to the offices of DPO, the DC and other government department. Moreover, aerial firing from time to time was also heard at the scene of the incident.

A heavy contingent of police rushed to the site to control the situation. The district administration, after sensing the situation, imposed curfew in the Hangu city to avoid any untoward incident.

The slain Farid Khan, basically belonging to Rebakhel tribe of Orakzai Agency, won the May 11 general election as an independent candidate and joined PTI, the ruling party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He won PK-42 seat by securing 16,129, defeating influential Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl candidate and two-time MPA, Attiqur Rehman, who bagged 12,680 votes.

Farid Khan was described by many as an honest and a 'man of the masses'. Though he originally belonged to Orazkai Agency, Khan had been living in Hangu for many years. Reportedly, Farid Khan had only one Rs 100-note in his pocket at the time of submitting his nomination papers for the election. The 41-year-old lawmaker had also been a student of Fine Arts Department at the University of Peshawar, but was unable to complete his higher education.

He was the only independent MPA to join the PTI without putting forth any conditions. Following the oath-taking ceremony of the KPK Assembly about six days back, Khan alleged political parties had offered him millions of rupees to join them, but he decided to join PTI as he believed it would solve the problems of the masses.

Analysts say assassination of Farid Khan was a great blow to PTI which has formed its government in KPK. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

President Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the killing and directed the authorities to thoroughly investigate the incident and bring the assailants to justice.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan also condemned the assassination of PTI MPA Farid Khan from Hangu. He prayed to Allah Almighty to give his family strength to bear the loss. Imran telephoned KPK Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and directed him to immediately make efforts to arrest the killers. KPK Governor Shaukatullah Khan and CM Pervez Khan Khattak also condemned the killing of MPA Farid Khan in strong words.

Qaumi Watan Party Chairman (QWP) Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao expressed sorrow over the killing of Farid Khan and offered condolences to his family. In a statement, he prayed to Allah Almighty to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant fortitude to the bereaved family to bear the tragedy with equanimity.