Polling day violence
Despite security arrangements on an unprecedented scale, the blood of innocent people was spelt in a suicide bomb blast in Quetta and vendetta demonstrated by ANP workers in Sawabi district of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. At least 32 people, including five police officials, were martyred and 60 injured in a suicide bomb attack in Bhosa Mandi area of Bauchistan capital Quetta. The attack targeted the convoy of DIG Abdul Razzaq Cheema near a poling station of PB 31 on the eastern pass of the city.
The senior police official remained unhurt; however, SHO Bhosa Mandi Hameed succumbed to the injuries. The death toll of 23 and 18 injuries has been confirmed by the spokesperson of Quetta Hospital. Police has confirmed it was a suicide blast.
The provinces of Baluchistan and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa had witnessed the tragic incidents of pre poll violence. Three security personnel and one civilian were martyred while 13 others sustained injuries after a military convoy on election duty came under attack in Turbat on Tuesday. Unidentified attackers targeted the convoy near the polling station established in Munela area. The injured were shifted to the district hospital Turbat. Earlier at least 30 people were injured, five critically, in hand grenade attack ripped through the election office of Baluchistan Awami Party (BAP) inDalbandin area of Chaghi district on July 22. In pre poll violence a candidate of this partyNawazada Siraj Raisani and 149 others perished in a suicide bomb blast in Mastung. These latest incidents of violence bear testimony to the fact that Baluchistan is more vulnerable to terrorist attacks on occasions of national importance.
Likewise, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa is also not immune to the acts of terrorism. In Peshawar suicide blast, ANP leader Haroon Bilour and 21 others lost their lives on July 11. A PTI candidate for PK 99, Ikram Ullah Gandapur, his driver and gunman were martyred in Kulachi area of Dera Ismail Khan a few days ago. Moreover, four people died when the election rally of JUI (F) senior leader Akram Khan Durrani came under the blast of road side bomb.
There is a lack of moral and political will on the part of the ruling political class to change the mind set and socio-economic condition that breeds extremism and terrorism. This mind set is taking a hevy toll on both the elite class and the down trodden innocent people. ANP has lost some leaders in terrorist attacks and the party leadership claim to be the custodian of Bacha Khan Philosophy of non violence. But the party workers in an open display of vendetta killed two PTI supporters in Sawbi besides injuring two others. It is time that political leaders of all political parties put their heads together and agree on a short term strategy and long term plan for making a tolerant society.