By Kamran Ali
A 56-year-old professor was shot dead in Peshawar on Monday, October 6, after he allegedly had a verbal brawl with another professor over religious matters a day earlier.
According to the First Information Report (FIR) lodged at the Bhana Mari police station, Naeemuddin Khattak was driving back from the Superior Science College through Wazir Bagh at 1:30 PM when two motorcyclists blocked his way and opened fire. Dr. Naeem received five bullets and succumbed to his wounds on the spot.
“The culprits have been identified as Professor Farooq Maad and Mubashir,” said the Bhana Mari police, who also revealed that the incident was the result of an old enmity. “Mubashir, who is a close relative of the victim, has been arrested while efforts to arrest to arrest Professor Farooq Maad are underway,” confirmed police.
Professor Farooq Maad is a faculty member in the agriculture department of the same college. Dr.Naeem had completed his doctorate in Zoology.
Advocate Shahab Khattak, brother of Naeem Khattak, termed the happening as a target-killing. He says the state should immediately explain why the crime transpired as this was not the first case. He said nearly 20 people have become victims to extremism in the past two to three years.
Shahab Khattak told Voicepk.net that Dr. Naeem never had a heated discussion with anyone, though he had received threats for his human rights activism. He further added that human rights activists and organizations have a clear stance against such incidents and that terrorists and extremists are still active but the government has failed to take strong, effective action. He demanded that the government ensure the protection of citizens.
Meanwhile, Salim ud Din, spokesperson for the Jama’at Ahmadiyya Pakistan, in a Twitter post said that there had been some efforts by certain quarters to portray the killing ‘in a certain way.’
He went on to clarify that “[Dr. Naeem’s] murder was purely on the grounds of his faith because, being a devout Ahmadi, he was not part of any political party or any other movement. He and his family were facing threats for the past many months”.
Salim ud Din added that an organized hate campaign has been launched against the Ahmadiyya community for the last few months that resulted in the killing of Ahmadis. He hoped that the government and law enforcement agencies would take swift action against the culprits and hold them accountable for their actions.
Earlier, on August 12, a 61-year old Ahmadi man, Meraj Ahmed, was gunned down in a targeted attack in the busy Dabgari area of Peshawar.
On July 29, another person, Tahir Naseem, was killed within the Peshawar Judicial Complex premises where he was present for a hearing on his trial for blasphemy charges. Tahir Naseem was accused of ‘blasphemy’ two years ago and had been imprisoned. According to Saleem ud Din, Tahir had been born to an Ahmaddiya family but had later moved away from the community.