On 23rd June, a traffic sergeant on duty at an intersection in a posh locality in Quetta was run over by a speeding Land Cruiser in broad day light. There could be one or three reasons for this wilful murder; the driver was either drunk or he could not care less who he hit, or his brakes might have failed.The Land Cruiser belonged to Abdul Majeed Khan Achakzai, an MPA in the Baluchistan Assembly and a member of the Achakzai clan in Quetta. For those who may not know how much power Achakzais wield in our merit and justice starved country and in that unfortunate province, here is a fact sheet. Their head and literally a lord is MNA Mahmood Khan Achakzai who is known for his theatrical appearance and brazen political opportunism. He heads the Pakhtunkhwa Mili Awami Party (PKMAP). This party is a lesser cousin of the ANP and came into being more due to a sense of abandonment by their parent party in Peshawar than for any real concern for Pashtuns in Balochistan.There is another more powerful historic reason behind the rise of the Achakzais. After the fall of Abdalites in Kabul, the Achakzais had nowhere to turn to. After the creation of Pakistan, a political void in Balochistan revived their hopes for power.This also explains why Achakzai’s power base is in Afghanistan where Afghanis use him for pressurising Pakistan and provide him support. There is plenty of open source material available showing his relationship with the enemies of Pakistan who hate Punjabis.His main constituency and voters are Afghan refugees living illegally with counterfeit or fraudulently obtained Pakistani IDs in the border belt along the apron of Toba Kakar Mountains.The sagacious Mehmood Khan Achakzai is a favourite and adefender of Nawaz Sharif . However, he only helps NS to gain political advantage. Balochistan has always remained on the wrong side of history in geopolitical terms. But Shawl Valley has been a particularly disadvantaged territory because it was never part of a kingdom or a civilization.This pariah status changed slightly during the mid 19th Century when the Russian and British Indian Empires came uncomfortably close to each other in Central Asia. As a measure of precaution, the British occupied the Shawl Valley militarily with the main garrison at Quetta and linked it to cities like Multan and Lahore.Had the MPA run over somebody belonging to other powerful tribes such as the Jogezais, we would have witnessed a great scramble for a pardon, diyat or plain submission to the decision of the jirgaThis placed a check on the eastward expansion of the Russian Empire but levelled the field for the infamous Great Game. Its manoeuvres gave Balochistan and the Achakzais a false sense of self worth.The creation of Pakistan dealt a severe blow to the territory’s illusions of independence, which even if it was granted would have been unsustainable.The Achakzais were like the Vikings under the Abdalite Amirs of Kabul but were never trusted companions or partners of the throne in Kabul. They made good use of their fortuitous location by extracting immense sums from invaders. MPA Majeed Khan Achakzai’s disappointing reaction and response may have astonished many but not those who are familiar with their history and their bland opportunism.He wilfully ran over the traffic sergeant and then promptly escaped. Thereafter, a sorry sequence of events followed which laid bare the deep rot in the governance in Balochistan and the degenerate make up of these Achakzais.There is an ugly tribal side to this narrative. Had the MPA run over somebody belonging to other powerful tribes such as the Jogezais, we would have witnessed a great scramble for a pardon, diyat or plain submission to the decision of the jirga. Majeed Achakzai denied that he was in the vehicle and the police hesitated in registering a case even against his driver. Meanwhile, the video of the entire crime became viral on TV channels and the social media.A case was initially registered against ‘unknown individuals’. When the protests mounted, the Quetta police took the MPA under protective custody. Moreover, the reluctant court took two hearings to grant a remand to the MPA.The MPA arrived at the court in full arrogance and clearly showed no remorse for his actions. He hurled abuses at the press which struck back by producing the CCTV footage of the MPA driving the car which killed the sergeant.One recollects his stammer, evasiveness and regal lack of concern when he was asked in a TV interview with Kamran Khan who really killed the sergeant.The Quetta police never handcuffed the brute and have even provided air-conditioning in his detention cell. Despite a suomoto notice by the Supreme Court, in the prevalent environment of undeserved privilege and power, there are slim chances that the bereaved family will receive full justice. The writer is a retired brigadier of the Pakistan army and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, July 1st , 2017.