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Pakistan

US strongly condemns attack on PTI rally in Sibi, says it 'undermines electoral process'

  • Pakistani people have the right to choose their leader without fear for the country's stability and prosperity, the State Department says
Published January 31, 2024

The United States condemned on Wednesday the attack on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) election rally in Sibi, saying it "undermines the electoral process."

"Pakistani people have the right to choose their leader without fear for the country's stability and prosperity," the State Department's South and Central Asian Affairs account explained on its official X handle (formerly Twitter).

"Our deepest sympathies to those affected," the statement concluded.

The statement comes a day after at least four people were killed and five others sustained injuries in a blast at a PTI rally in Balochistan’s Sibi, officials said.

Police in Quetta said a bomb planted on a motorbike detonated as supporters rallied for the PTI.

“The PTI rally was passing by there but it is not clear whether the rally was a target or not,” senior police official Farhan Zahid told AFP.

In a statement, PTI said three of its activists were among the dead at the rally — a convoy of motorbikes and cars parading through the city to curry support for a candidate ahead of national elections scheduled for February 8.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has summoned an emergency meeting tomorrow (Thursday) amid the worsening law and order situation in the country ahead of the general election of 2024.

In a related development, the Pakistan Army asserted on Wednesday that no one would be allowed to indulge in violence “in the name of political activity” and sabotage the “democratic exercise of conduct of free and fair elections.”

“Pakistan Army will perform assigned duties as per the Constitutional mandate, under the guidelines of ECP,” a statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations Pakistan (ISPR) read.

The forum also discussed the deployment of the Pakistan Army to assist the ECP in the peaceful conduct of the General Elections 2024, scheduled for February 8.

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