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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Pakistan: Police in Quetta raids house of Opposition presidential candidate Mahmood Khan Achakzai

Achakzai, 75, from Balochistan, is the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief and was nominated by Imran Khan

PTI Karachi Published 04.03.24, 01:11 PM
Mahmood Khan Achakzai

Mahmood Khan Achakzai File picture

Ahead of the presidential polls in Pakistan, authorities in Balochistan have raided the house of opposition presidential candidate and veteran politician Mahmood Khan Achakzai in the provincial capital, Quetta, and reclaimed a piece of government-owned land “illegally occupied” by him.

Achakzai, 75, from Balochistan, is the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief and was nominated by Imran Khan, the jailed leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party to contest against former president Asif Ali Zardari.

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Authorities in Quetta said they had conducted the raid at Achakzai's residence on Sunday and reclaimed a piece of government-owned land “illegally occupied” by him.

In Parliament, Achakzai would be supported by the Sunni Ittehad Council, the new home of the PTI-backed independent lawmakers.

The veteran politician will contest the March 9 presidential candidate against 68-year-old senior Pakistan Peoples Party leader Zardari whose name has been floated by the coalition government headed by Shahbaz Sharif.

Political and civil rights activists as well as the media have strongly condemned the raid, terming it a reaction by the state institutions to Achakzai’s recent speech in the National Assembly when Shehbaz was elected as the prime minister.

Quetta Deputy Commissioner Saad Asad said the raid was planned as the PkMAP President had illegally occupied at his residence a piece of land measuring 2.5 kanals (0.3 acres) which belonged to the government.

“He had encircled the land with boundary walls and despite repeated warnings, he refused to vacate it,” Asad said.

Asad said the police, along with the revenue staff recovered the illegally occupied land.

“They were armed men who tried to obstruct us from doing our duty and have been detained,” he said.

Asad said that an armed man guarding the land was arrested as he attempted to obstruct the assistant commissioner from performing his duties.

PkMAP Secretary General Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal condemned the raid targeting the party chairman and announced protest demonstrations across the country on Monday.

Ziaratwal said such raids would not deter the party from its firm stand on protesting against rigged elections and Achakzai would contest the presidential elections on March 9.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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