Fear of More Violence in Pakistan Election after Bomber Kills 130

Explosion in Pakistan leaves at least 36 dead, wounded
Pakistan's former PM Nawaz Sharif arrested hours after a huge suicide attack kills at least 70
Author

16 July, 2018

Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, who was campaigning for an assembly seat in the southern province of Balochistan, was killed in the bomb blast along with dozens of others, Balochistan Home Secretary Haider Ali Shikoh told CNN.

In the southwestern province of Baluchistan, a suicide bomber killed 128 people, including a politician running for a provincial legislature.

Pakistani troops carry the casket, wrapped in national flag, of provincial candidate Siraj Raisani, who was killed in the Friday's suicide bombing in Mastung, during a funeral prayer in Quetta, Pakistan, Saturday, July 14, 2018.

Soon after, the scale of the destruction in Mastung - hundreds of kilometres to the south-west, where an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria suicide bomber attacked a crowded political rally - began to emerge.

On the same day, another attack took place in north-western Pakistan, with four people killed.

Such concern and empathy from the people of Pakistan over a large number of lives being ruthlessly taken away is heartwarming to say the least.

Sharif's return is set to increase political tensions as his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz seeks to fend off a challenge from the party of cricketerturned- politician Imran Khan at the polls. Sharif was arrested with his daughter minutes after their plane touched down at Lahore airport.

"Injured people were crying in pain and fear", the journalist said.

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Pakistani authorities have opened a criminal case against leaders of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif's political party under an anti-terrorism law, 10 days before a hotly contested general election, according to a police report.

Referring to Raisani as a "soldier of Pakistan", General Bajwa said they had lost a die-hard, fearless patriot, who would be remembered for his commitment to and contributions for Pakistan.

"During election campaigns when large public meetings and rallies are held, it's very hard to ensure security to everyone", he said.

The toll from the deadliest attack on a campaign rally in Pakistan's restive Balochistan reached 130 today as the country's security establishment was under pressure to improve security and intelligence gathering to avoid further election carnage. He said security was cited as the reason for the designated location.

The rally had been attended by more than 1,000 people.

The state needs to explain why it has not done enough to ensure the integrity of the elections by providing those under threat sufficient security.

On July 13, the convoy of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) candidate from NA-35 Bannu came under attack.

Three attacks in less than a week are more than enough to discourage people from taking part in the polling process, The Nation commented in its editorial.


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