Independent candidate gunned down in Bajaur

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BAJAUR: Rehan Zeb Khan, a PTI-backed independent candidate, was gunned down in the Siddiqabad area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa s (KP) Bajaur district ahead of general elections 2024, ARY News reported on Wednesday quoting the police.

According to details, the PTI-backed candidate was contesting elections from NA-8 and PK-22 seats.

The police, in a statement, said Rehan Zeb Khan was canvassing in the area when unidentified assailants opened fire on his vehicle, leaving him dead on the spot. Four other people were also injured in the attack.

Meanwhile, the PTI strongly condemned the killing of Rehan – who was a party-backed candidate for a National Assembly seat.

“The fact that PTI-affiliated candidates and public gatherings were being targeted by terrorist attacks raised a “big question mark” on the fairness of polls,” the party said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

In a separate post, the party called on Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faex Isa to take notice of today s incident as well as yesterday s blast at a PTI rally in Sibi.

On the other hand, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has sought a report from the provincial chief secretary and Inspector General Police (IGP), further directing them to take stern action against those responsible for the attack.

The incident comes a day after four people were killed while six were wounded in a bomb blast at a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rally in Balochistan s Sibi.

Pakistan has witnessed a surge in terrorist activities, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan, since the outlawed militant group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan ended its ceasefire with the government in November 2022.

Earlier, Senate had also adopted a resolution, which was moved by independent Senator Dilawar Khan during a session with only 15 lawmakers in attendance. It sought delay in general elections in the light of extreme weather in hilly areas and the “deteriorating security situation”.

However, the passage of the resolution was strongly criticised by major political parties – including PPP, PML-N and PTI. Moreover, PPP and PTI served notices to their senators, Gurdeep Singh and Bahramand Tangi, who remained abstained from voting.

Read More: Fazl says no issues if general elections delayed for few days

Extending support to the resolution, JUI-F Fazlur Rehman said that it reflects the party s stance as the election environment wasn t visible, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan amid terror attacks.

 

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