Sardar Israrullah Khan Gandapur walked towards his smiling young visitor to greet him on the first day of Bakrid in his hujra , a place to meet people, outside his residence at Kulachi in Dera Ismail Khan district. The young man dressed in new clothes embraced the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Law Minister and detonated himself, killing Gandapur on the spot and seven others last Wednesday.

His older brother Ikramullah who was sitting some distance away managed to survive but those sitting next to him were dead.

The KPK government said the suicide bomber was between 20 to 22 years old and spoke to the Minister in the local language before the explosion.

This was the latest of a series of bomb blasts to hit Peshawar and sent the provincial government led by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) scrambling for cover again. With talks with the Taliban hanging in balance, things seem to be spiralling out of control.

Media reports suggest he was killed by a little known terrorist faction in connection with the sensational jail breaks in Dera Ismail Khan but that is only one of the many speculations.

Faisal Karim Kundi, a Pakistan Peoples Party politician from Dera Ismail Khan and a former deputy speaker of the National Assembly told The Hindu on the phone that it was the custom to go to greet people who come to visit you on Eid day and Israrullah walked eight to 10 feet to greet his visitor before it all ended.

He is survived by wife, an infant daughter and a son.

A Masters in Political Science, Gandapur (39) studied in Kulachi before going to Peshawar to complete his studies.

This was his third term in the provincial assembly which he contested as an independent and later joined PTI.

He took to active politics after the death of his father, Sardar Inayatullah Khan Gandapur, a former Chief Minister of the North West Frontier Province.

Hours before his death, Gandapur had sent a text message to a friend asking him to come and meet him before it was too late that evening, said Shiraz Paracha, spokesperson for the KPK Chief Minister.

Everyone was talking about this message and whether it was a premonition of sorts.

That seems unlikely going by a photo taken before Gandapur was killed. It showed a smiling relaxed politician meeting people.

Mr. Paracha says he knew him for a few months and he was one of the finest members of the provincial cabinet in terms of his extensive knowledge about Constitutional affairs and his understanding of the rules of business.

He had a grasp of governance related issues and in a short period of time he had become one of the shining stars of the PTI government.

Unlike his father, Gandapur was known for his simple lifestyle.

He mingled with people and met them easily. “He was so accessible, and that could be one of the reasons for his death,” rues Paracha.

  • Killed in connection with the jail breaks in Dera Ismail Khan

  • Had extensive knowledge about Constitutional affairs