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PTI-Affiliated Independent Candidate Assassinated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Posted on February 1, 2024
  • Politics
  • By TSW NEWS DESK
  • 114 Views

Pre-election violence strikes Pakistan as PTI-backed candidate Rehan Zaib Khan is assassinated. The targeted killing raises questions about electoral fairness, with the PTI condemning attacks on its candidates. Balochistan witnesses a surge in violence, prompting concerns about the electoral process's integrity. As Pakistan braces for elections on February 8, security challenges and political complexities abound.

PTI-Affiliated Independent Candidate Assassinated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Image Source -www.tribune.com.pk

In a disturbing prelude to Pakistan's upcoming general elections, Rehan Zaib Khan, an independent candidate affiliated with Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was fatally shot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Siddiqabad area. The incident unfolded a week before the polls, intensifying concerns about the election's fairness.

Khan, a PTI-backed National Assembly candidate, was canvassing in Bajaur district when unidentified assailants targeted his vehicle, leaving him dead and four others injured. The PTI labeled the incident a "targeted killing," condemning the ongoing violence against its candidates and public gatherings, casting doubts on the polls' impartiality.

The PTI, contesting as independents due to the denial of their traditional electoral symbol, criticized the caretaker government, holding it responsible for the escalating violence. The party demanded an immediate investigation into the attack and called for enhanced security for all PTI-affiliated candidates.

Simultaneously, Balochistan witnessed a surge in violence, with hand grenade attacks on Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) election offices and the killing of an Awami National Party (ANP) worker. Balochistan's caretaker Home Minister Zubair Jamali condemned the attacks, emphasizing the public's determination against terrorism.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) took notice of the killing in Bajaur, signaling a potential impact on the electoral process. Meanwhile, violence continued to escalate in various cities, echoing similar incidents in the lead-up to previous elections.

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As Pakistan gears up for elections on February 8, security concerns loom large. The PTI's electoral prospects face challenges amid a crackdown and the denial of an electoral symbol. Imran Khan, PTI's founder, faces legal troubles, further complicating the party's electoral standing.

The situation mirrors past instances of violence targeting political figures, raising international concerns about the electoral process's integrity. With a history of violence preceding elections, Pakistan faces the critical task of ensuring a secure and transparent electoral environment.

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