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In the weeks leading up to election day, there has been a significant increase in attacks on political leaders and party workers. As a result of these incidents, questions are being raised about the safety and security of those involved in the electoral process, and about the credibility of the elections themselves.

Following is a list of major violent incidents that have occurred in the run-up to the elections.

Rehan Zeb Khan, a candidate running for elections from NA-8 of the Bajaur tribal district in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, was gunned down by unknown assailants.

This shocking act of violence not only took away a promising political figure but also highlighted the grave risks faced by individuals participating in democratic processes.

Adding to the complexity of these incidents is the fact that militant groups, such as Islamic State Khurasan Pakistan (ISK-P), have claimed responsibility for some of these attacks, raising fears for further incidents.

Awami National Party (ANP) leader Zahoor Ahmad was shot and killed in the Balochistani town of Killa Abdullah. Unidentified gunmen opened fire on Zahoor Ahmad’s party office in the Mezai Adda neighborhood of Killa Abdullah while he was seated.

Zahoor Ahmad passed away instantly, and the attack also injured a worker named Moeen Khan.

The home of Zahoor Buledi, the provincial minister and PPP candidate for Turbat, was attacked in the Balochistani area of Kech. Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the incident and threatened more attacks.

At least four people were killed and five more were injured after a bombing at a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) election rally in Sibi, Baluchistan. Saddam Tareen, a PTI candidate seeking the NA-253 National Assembly seat, led the protest on Jinnah Road. He was able to get away unscathed.

The US responded to the incident by strongly condemning the act and saying that 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).

In yet another violent incident, an unidentified attacker threw a hand grenade into the office of a PPP candidate in Kharan, Mir Nooruddin Nowsherwani. Likewise, militants hurled a hand grenade at the PML-N headquarters situated on Qambrani Road in Quetta.

The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) issued a list of politicians who face threats from militants concerning the impending general elections.

The CTD released a list of these people and claimed that threats had been made against Mohsin Dawar, a former member of the National Assembly, Imtiaz Qureshi, a former provincial minister, Senator Hidayatullah, Amir Muqam, a former MNA for the PML-N, Pir Musawir Shah and Shah Muhammad, Malik Adnan Wazir, Ehsanullah, and leaders of the PTI.

A policeman was killed by unidentified armed persons who stormed the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) regional headquarters in Turbat, Balochistan. A police officer named Namrooz lost his life while thwarting the insurgents’ attack.

Further, an explosion occurred near the Provincial Election Commission office in Karachi, prompting fears of further attacks.

The clashes between different party workers in Karachi, Lahore, and other areas highlight the intensity of political rivalries during election campaigns.

Tragically, an MQM-P worker lost his life in a clash with PPP workers, while PML N’s and TLP’s workers engaged in violent confrontations in Lahore.

In another incident, tensions soared in Karachi as the PPP and PTI accused the MQMP of orchestrating attacks on their respective offices. The clashes resulted in injuries to several political workers from both parties.

Similarly, PTI workers clashed with police in Karachi’s Teen Talwar area, leading to arrests and clashes.

Moreover, there have been reports of candidates missing or being abducted by their rivals, further exacerbating the tense atmosphere surrounding elections.

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Ch K A Nye Feb 05, 2024 07:30pm
This is merely a prelude to an escalation which gives the Boys an excuse.
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