Police report PTI candidate killed while campaigning in Bajaur

A candidate with ties to the PTI was fatally shot in the Siddiqabad area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Bajaur district, as reported by the police on Wednesday.

This incident occurred just a day after a bomb blast at a PTI rally in Balochistan’s Sibi resulted in the death of four individuals and injuries to six others.

According to the Khar Police Station House Officer (SHO) Rasheed Khan, Rehan Zeb Khan, while canvassing in the area, was targeted by unidentified gunmen who opened fire on his vehicle.

Despite being rushed to the District Headquarters Hospital, Rehan succumbed to his injuries. Additionally, four others sustained injuries during the attack.

Bajaur District Police Officer Kashif Zulfiqar, speaking to Dawn.com, described the incident as a “targeted killing,” with law enforcement agencies initiating a search operation in the area.

Meanwhile, PTI stated that Rehan was a “party-backed candidate for a National Assembly seat” and strongly condemned his killing. They raised concerns about the safety of PTI-affiliated candidates and public gatherings, attributing such attacks to “terrorist activities.”

Demanding an immediate investigation into the incident and calling for security measures for PTI-backed candidates, the party urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take notice of the situation.

PTI also criticized the caretaker government, accusing it of favoritism and failing to fulfill its constitutional duties.

In a separate statement, PTI urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of both the recent incident and the previous day’s blast in Sibi.

PTI leader Barrister Gohar Ali Khan condemned the killing, expressing concern over alleged attempts to undermine PTI’s morale and influence the elections.

PTI’s Hammad Azhar highlighted Rehan’s representation of the country’s youth and his aspirations for a better future.

Former provincial minister Taimur Khan Jhagra remembered Rehan as a dedicated PTI worker and aspirant.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) also took notice of the incident, seeking reports from officials and urging action against the perpetrators.

In a media briefing later, the caretaker chief minister of KP acknowledged security concerns in some areas and directed the KP police chief to submit a report on the incident within three days.

In a separate incident, an Awami National Party (ANP) worker was killed during the party’s election campaign in Balochistan’s Qila Abdullah. The ECP summoned a report and called for action against the perpetrators.

Additionally, a grenade attack on the PPP’s election office in Quetta injured five people, including a PPP candidate. The ECP also took notice of this incident and directed action against the culprits.

Caretaker Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Ali Mardan Khan Domki addressed the incidents of vandalism at election offices, instructing increased security measures and emphasizing the importance of maintaining peace during the electoral process.

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