Pakistani authorities say they have set up a judicial commission to investigate the death of opposition politician Usman Khan Kakar a week ago.
Kakar, the leader of the nationalist Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) in the southwestern province of Balochistan and a staunch critic of Pakistan’s powerful military and intelligence agencies, died at a hospital in Karachi on June 21.
The authorities have said the initial investigation suggested that the former senator succumbed to injuries caused by a fall, but family members and leaders of his party claim he was wounded in an attack.
Balochistan’s Interior Ministry sent a letter to the province's high court on June 27 saying the provincial government had decided to establish a two-member judicial commission comprising justices Naeem Afghan and Zaheer Kakar to investigate the cause of Kakar’s death.
Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal, a provincial leader of PkMAP, told Radio Mashaal the party wants a transparent investigation.
The 60-year-old Kakar was found unconscious on June 17 in his house in Quetta, the provincial capital, with initial reports suggesting he had injured himself after falling on the floor.
The politician was first admitted to a hospital in Quetta where he underwent head surgery and was later transferred to Karachi’s Agha Khan Hospital.
Family members and officials of his party say he was wounded in an attack inside his house.
Kakar had mentioned receiving death threats.
The former senator openly criticized the military, accusing it of meddling in politics and undermining human rights. The Pakistani military has always rejected such allegations as baseless.
He was also known for his outspoken remarks in support of freedom of expression, human rights, and democratic values.