PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban have threatened to stage further attacks targeting political gatherings of the country’s secular Awami National Party (ANP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), their spokesman said on Monday, the same day a blast near an ANP gathering in Charsadda injured seven people.
The explosion in a car-park outside the venue of a public gathering scheduled to be addressed by ANP Chief Asfand Yar Wali Khan in Charsadda’s Kulladher district. The bomb exploded shortly before the formal launch of the event before the ANP leaders had arrived at the venue.
Medical Superintendent of Charsadda Hospital Dr Mohammad Nawaz confirmed seven people, including two policemen, were injured in the blast. Security sources said that 500 grams of explosive material was used in the making of the bomb, which was detonated remotely.
Speaking to a Dawn.com correspondent from an undisclosed location, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan claimed responsibility of the blast, threatening further attacks against “the country’s secular parties”.
The attack on the ANP gathering “is just a beginning. The attacks will intensify on both the secular ANP and MQM’s political gatherings,” threatened the TTP spokesman, cautioning the general public to stay away from the rallies.
Ehsan said the ANP and MQM would be on their hit-list because of their enmity towards the Taliban.
Ehsan added that the ANP and MQM because of their enmity towards Taliban would be on their hit list and their political gatherings will be targeted.
“We request the public to avoid attending such rallies in their own interest,” said the spokesman.
About TTP stance on other political parties, he said, though they are all one, as far as their secular ideology is concerned, Taliban would announce their strategy regarding other parties later.