QUETTA - Unidentified armed assailants gunned down the district election commissioner (DEC) Quetta in the broad daylight in the provincial capital on Tuesday.Satellite Town police official Tanvir Ahmed said DEC Ziaullah Qasmi was heading towards his residence in an auto-rickshaw after discharging his duty when armed men chased him and opened indiscriminate fire on him near Chandni Chowk of Satellite Town. As a result, Qasmi received multiple wounds and was rushed to Civil Hospital Quetta where he succumbed to his injuries.Police surgeon Dr Noor Baloch said the deceased had received more than four bullets and could not survive to due to excessive bleeding.The driver of the rickshaw said they were moving towards home when the attackers chased them, opened fire and fled after injuring Qasmi seriously.On getting information about the incident, Balochistan Election Commissioner Syed Sultan Bayazid rushed to Civil Hospital. Talking to media persons, he said Qasmi belonged to Sargodah city of the Punjab, adding though he had a car, he used an auto-rickshaw for coming to the office and going home, probably due to security concerns.Answering a question, he said the slain officer might have received threats, but he never mentioned it, adding the elections were approaching near and they had security concerns too.When contacted, Balochistan Home Secretary Captain (r) Akbar Hussain Durrani said the police were investigating the murder focusing on whether it was a target killing or had some other motive.The family sources said the body of the deceased would be shifted to his native town, Sargodah, for burial. Police have registered a case against unknown persons and started investigation.Staff Reporter from Islamabad adds: CEC Justice (r) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, members staff of election commission have expressed their deep sorrow and grief on the tragic death of Muhammad Zia Ullah Qasmi, District Election Commissioner, Quetta, who was shot dead on Tuesday. “In his passing away, the ECP has lost a dutiful and vigilant officer who served the ECP with exemplary commitment and distinction,” said the commission.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 13-Mar-2013 here.