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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Former PTI MPA Assassinated, Land Mafia Involvement?

Adnan's legacy as a fearless advocate for transparency and accountability in governance will endure, serving as a rallying cry for those committed to combating corruption and injustice in Pakistan.

Former Punjab Assembly member and independent candidate Chaudhry Adnan met a tragic end in Rawalpindi, where unidentified assailants shot him near the city’s police lines while his car was stopped at a traffic signal. Despite being rushed to the hospital, Adnan succumbed to his wounds, prompting law enforcement to initiate a manhunt for the perpetrators, who remain at large. The fatal attack occurred as Adnan’s vehicle halted at a traffic signal near the police lines, triggering an active investigation to apprehend the assailant and ensure justice.

Adnan, who served as a Punjab Assembly member from 2018 to 2023 under the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ticket, recently contested the February 8th elections as an independent candidate in both the NA-57 Rawalpindi and PP-19 constituencies. Despite his independent candidacy, Adnan received a significant number of votes, securing 1820 votes in the NA-57 constituency and 2972 votes in PP-19.

The Rawalpindi police swiftly responded to the incident, with senior officers arriving at the crime scene and evidence being collected. Teams were formed to apprehend the suspects, with the preliminary investigation suggesting the attack may be linked to personal enmity. However, authorities are probing the incident from all angles to ensure the perpetrators are arrested and brought to justice. Despite initial indications of personal enmity, law enforcement officials are exploring all possibilities to uncover the motives behind the assassination.

Possible Involvement of ‘Land Mafia’

In November 2020, Adnan wrote to the then Prime Minister Imran Khan, highlighting threats from the land mafia, warning that he would be de-notified if he continued his anti-encroachment efforts. Despite his pleas for support, Adnan’s revenue portfolio was de-notified in December 2020, just a month after his letter to the PM. This move underscored the mafia’s pervasive influence within government circles.

Adnan’s battle against the land mafia was fraught with challenges, as evidenced by the resistance he faced from entrenched interests. Despite identifying over Rs325 billion worth of encroached state land in Rawalpindi, his efforts to reclaim it were stymied by bureaucratic inertia and intimidation tactics employed by the mafia that, according to Adnan and his close aides, is backed not only by politicians but also by the establishment.

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The nexus between the land mafia and political elites became glaringly apparent as Adnan exposed encroachment by members of various political factions, including those within the ruling PTI. Despite his relentless pursuit of justice, Adnan found himself isolated within the political establishment, facing threats and ostracization from those unwilling to confront the mafia’s stranglehold on power.

The circumstances surrounding Adnan’s assassination raise troubling questions about the extent of the land mafia’s influence and their willingness to resort to violence to protect their interests. As investigations into his murder continue, there is a pressing need for authorities to dismantle the criminal networks enabling land grabbing and hold those responsible for Adnan’s death accountable. His legacy as a fearless advocate for transparency and accountability in governance will endure, serving as a rallying cry for those committed to combating corruption and injustice in Pakistan.