Home News Analysis A matter of growing insecurities: Terror during elections

A matter of growing insecurities: Terror during elections

Terror may leave a large impact on the stability of the upcoming General Elections 2018. Where is the necessary vigilance?

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News Analysis |

Killing around 132 people and injuring 180 people in two separate terrorist attacks, security threats exacerbate as elections approach. On Friday, 13th July 2018, Pakistan suffered from two major terrorist attacks, in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

These killings are disturbing the minds of people, leading to growing fear and agitation. Following Harron Bilour’s demise, grieving politicians had expressed their fear and outrage regarding the terror attacks.

Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, a candidate contesting for a seat in the Provincial Assembly seat, was among the 128 martyrs, killed in a suicide attack on an election gathering, in an area, Mastung, situated about 60 km south-west of Quetta.

This tragic incident left behind around, 150 casualties. Siraj Raisani, the younger brother of former Chief Minister (CM) of Balochistan, Nawaz Aslam Raisani, a candidate of PB-35 Mastung, was martyred in this attack.

Read more: Pakistan election rally suicide bomb toll climbs to 20

Expressing his grief and pain, Haji Lashkari, another brother of late Siraj Raisani stated, “My younger brother has been martyred in the suicide attack”. Siraj suffered a great injury in the bomb blast and this critical condition, succumbed to his injuries, on the way to Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Quetta.

Haji Lashkari Raisani further added that “He and Aslam Raisani had also received threats from unidentified people.”

Siraj Raisani’s, 16 year-old-son also died, in a similar tragic incident in 2011, during the tenure of Aslam Raisani as CM. The blast occurred as Siraj Raisani accompanied by his son was returning from a stadium after distributing prizes among the players of a football match.

Similarly, Nawab Aslam Raisani has also been through a suicide attack, at Saraib railway crossing, during his tenure as CM, however, he survived.

Previously, minor attacks on the houses and convoys of election candidates have taken place in different parts of Balochistan. For instance, an explosion occurred near an election office of BAP candidate, for a provincial assembly seat Shakil Durrani in Khuzdar on Thursday night, injuring two people.

Other such cases include, the convoy of Rehmat Saleh Baloch, a National Party (NP) candidate for a provincial assembly seat, getting attacked in Punjgur, a week ago. However, no one was killed or injured.

Talking to media, Mr. Durrani said, “Political workers could not be intimidated by bomb blasts and expressed satisfaction over the security arrangements.”

Two weeks ago, rockets were fired at the houses of Zahoor Buledi, BAP candidate for a provincial assembly seat, in Buleda and NP candidate Khair Jan Baloch in Jhaoo, causing no damage.

Read more: Election Violence in Pakistan: Balochistan, KPK bleed yet again

This bombing in Quetta took place after a motorcycle bombing attack in Peshawar. Near Bannu area of KPK, this attack took place in a motorcycle bombing explosion attack killing 4 and injuring 30 people.

In the attack on Bannu, tires of the vehicle carrying Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) candidate contesting from NA-35, Akram Durrani, were deflated because of the intensity of the blast, however, he remained safe. 5 police officials, including a woman, got injured in this incident.

Deputy Inspector General of police, Abdul Karim informed media, that a remote-controlled explosive decide had been fitted on the motorcycle which was then abandoned along the road of Hoveda area. He further added, that “candidates contesting July 25 elections had been warned about the threat to their lives and asked to curtail their movement.”

This was the second terror attack witnessed during the elections campaigns in KPK, in a week.

Prior to this attack, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the corner meeting of the Awami National Party, in Peshawar, on Tuesday. That blast resulted in the killing of 22 people, including Haroon Bilour, the candidate from PK-78, and injuring approximately 60 people.

This tragic incident left behind around, 150 casualties. Siraj Raisani, the younger brother of former Chief Minister (CM) of Balochistan, Nawaz Aslam Raisani, a candidate of PB-35 Mastung, was martyred in this attack.

Sources state that Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan had claimed responsibility for this suicide attack.

Following the explosion, Mr. Durrani visited the hospital in order to inquire about the health of the injured. Talking to media, he said, “Political workers could not be intimidated by bomb blasts and expressed satisfaction over the security arrangements.”

Read more: Suicide blast rips through Pakistan election rally, killing 128

Recently, the National Counter Terrorism Authority had issued a threat alert about attacks on leading politicians, including Akram Durrani. JUI -F chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said in a statement, “After the suicide blast in Peshawar, the Bannu attack was an attempt to terrorize people ahead of the polling day.”

These killings are disturbing the minds of people, leading to growing fear and agitation. Following Harron Bilour’s demise, grieving politicians had expressed their fear and outrage regarding the terror attacks. However, executives need to work better in an attempt to decrease the probability of upcoming terror attacks.

Looking at the claims made by Tehreek-i-Taliban, everyone would think that, they’ve attacked once again; moreover, campaign leaders need to be more vigilant in order to protect themselves. And as elections are approaching, security needs to be strengthened further.


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