Aftab Mohmand

In the Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), a horrific incident of an acid attack took place due to a refusal of friendship. The victim, a young man named Waqarullah, suffered severe burns on 70% of his face after acid was thrown at him by the accused, Azizullah, who has since gone into hiding.

According to Waqarullah’s cousin, Samiullah, the incident occurred when Waqar and his friends were at a shop in Lari Adda, Lakki City, enjoying samosas. Azizullah, the accused, called Waqar outside, and as soon as he stepped out, Azizullah threw acid at him, causing devastating injuries.

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Waqar was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital and later transferred to the District Headquarters Hospital in Bannu for further treatment. The hospital report indicates that his face has sustained burns of up to 70%.

Samiullah shared that the accused, Azizullah, who is around 23 or 24 years old, hails from their village, Hafiz Wanda Katana. He had been harassing Waqar in the past. Waqar’s father is ill and works as a laborer in the area, and the entire family is deeply distressed due to Azizullah’s actions.

Samiullah revealed that Azizullah is the only child of his parents and is known to be an addict. The entire village is tired of his troublesome behavior. There are reports suggesting that he is currently hiding in a nearby village called Wanda Seema.

Waqar’s family has lodged a formal case against Azizullah at the Lakki City police station, entrusting the matter to the law. They hope that Azizullah will be apprehended soon and brought to justice.

The Station House Officer (SHO) of Lakki City police station, Muneem Khan, stated that as soon as the case was registered, the police initiated raids in various locations to arrest the accused.

He assured that the police will soon apprehend Azizullah and ensure that he faces severe punishment as per the law. The aim is to set an example and deter anyone from committing similar crimes in the future. The police are actively collaborating with community leaders and elders to curb all forms of criminal activities in the area, and the recent incident has further accelerated their efforts.

Tahira Kaleem, a social activist from KP, highlighted that a law regarding the use, possession, types, and related aspects of acid was enacted in 2014. The KP government, particularly the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, made subsequent attempts to introduce crucial amendments to the law, aiming to impose stricter penalties for acid attacks and similar acts.

She expressed concern over the increasing number of acid attack incidents and the easy availability of acid, which is widely traded and sometimes used as a chemical weapon. The recent incident in Lakki Marwat emphasizes that acid attacks are still occurring, although such incidents were previously underreported.

She called upon the government and law enforcement agencies to regulate the purchase and sale of acid, making it more difficult for anyone to acquire it indiscriminately. Furthermore, she stressed the need for amending the existing law to ensure harsher punishments, thereby deterring potential perpetrators.