KARACHI: As the city observed a day of mourning for people killed in Thursday’s bomb blast near an MQM election office in North Nazimabad’s Nusrat Bhutto Colony area, Karachi was aggrieved by a gruesome militant attack on the street corner meeting of a candidate of another liberal democratic party, the ANP, on Friday evening.

This was the third militant attack in four days as the militants appeared determined to keep the MQM, ANP and PPP out of the electoral process, possibly encouraged by the reluctance of two mainstream parties actively engaged in electioneering in Punjab to condemn the wave of terror attacks in three other provinces.

At least 11 people were killed and over 50 others injured when a bomb blast hit the election meeting of Awami National Party (ANP) candidate Bashir Jan in Orangi Town.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier in the day, Abdul Rehman Khan, another ANP candidate contesting for the NA-255 seat, survived an attack when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Landhi area.

Bashir Jan, the ANP general secretary for Sindh survived the attack as he was inside his car at the time of the attack.

“I was sitting in my car when the explosion took place. The car was thrown up a few feet in the air because of the impact of the blast,” Mr Jan said.

This was the third attempt on his life. Earlier, he had been fired upon near Hasan Square and he was wounded when an IED exploded near his car in the Frontier Colony area last year.

“A street corner meeting was supposed to be held in a small ground surrounded by walls. The blast took place when Bashir Jan was approaching the venue in his car through a narrow street,” SSP district west Asif Ajaz Shaikh told Dawn.

Although police had not been formally informed about the meeting in advance, a police mobile with a few personnel had been deputed at a distance from the venue at the request of the organisers, he said.

“Preliminary findings suggest that Bashir Jan was the target of the attack. Because a large number of people were there he could not be targeted,” SSP of CID’s counter-terrorism unit Raja Umar Khattab told Dawn.

He said the explosives weighing about 10kgs had been placed in a rickshaw.

The brunt of the attack was borne by three vehicles parked in the street and some shops. Debris started falling on the narrow lane after the blast.

The windscreen of Bashir Jan’s vehicle was damaged, he said.

The bodies and the injured were taken to different hospitals. The Civil Hospital received six bodies, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital three and Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre one. One of the critically injured died in Civil Hospital.

Speaking to Dawn.com on phone from an undisclosed location, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said the TTP had carried out the attack on the ANP election meeting because of their secular politics.

Talking to a private news channel, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali condemned the attack and said his party would not bow down to the terrorists who were targeting political workers.

“People know who are behind these barbaric acts; they want to force us out of the election process,” he said, but made it clear that the ANP would not boycott the May 11 elections.

The Muttahida Quami Movement chief also condemned the attack.

DAY OF MOURNING: The ANP announced a peaceful day of mourning on Saturday. The party leader Senator Shahi Syed appealed to the people, traders and transporters to observe mourning but not to shut their businesses.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (9)

April 27, 2013 9:37 am

Looks like the "deteriorating situation of karachi" is inversely proportion to the "number of days left in the election"......

April 27, 2013 10:03 am

What really Rangers is doing? re they paid for this. If this is the condition of Rangers here in a city what they will do at border win case of fight. I think either Rangers has no ability to protect citizens or people being fooled. If Rangers so naive it is better to remove them.

April 27, 2013 10:04 am

What really Rangers is doing? re they paid for this. If this is the condition of Rangers here in a city what they will do at border win case of fight. I think either Rangers has no ability to protect citizens or people being fooled. If Rangers so naive it is better to remove them.

April 27, 2013 10:15 am

the stories have become very leading/ subjective these days ..

April 27, 2013 10:33 am

The army is sleeping and this is a big sin, while our own people are dying and are in fear.


April 27, 2013 10:54 am

Why ANP is the main target of TTP now? Has it something to do with the war within the Pathan/Pashto community to gain power in Karachi (I refer to a well-analysed article in Dawn a couple of weeks ago)? In this case the authorities should concentrate also on the main cause of the problem and try to control weapons in the related areas of Karachi.

April 27, 2013 11:06 am

Sir, Terrorists all over the world are fighting democratic forces on one pretext or other. Whether they are political extremists, religious fundamentalists, separatist militants or the terrorists without any ideology, their mindset is same. We admit that democratic system has some weaknesses. Election has become a costly affair and power gained through democratic system corrupts people in developing countries, still it is the best form of government. People of Pakistan can easily distinguish the merits and demerits of democratic form of govt. and army rule. We convey our sympathies to the families of innocent persons who laid their lives. for democracy in Pakistan. We also appreciate the activists of ANP and its leader Bashir Jan for their courage and love for democracy. Yours faithfully; BIMAL CHANDRA JHA Samanpura Road, Patna, India

April 27, 2013 12:42 pm

MQM should learn from ANP for strike call.

Sreenath Mohan
April 27, 2013 1:55 pm

Karachi has become a nightmare capital,an urban agglomeration battered to extreme.As democracy slowly enters into the politics of this ancient land,nurtured by secular ANP, PPP,MQM,Meagre yet ideological left and other main stream political parties Taliban and radical Islam place axes at the root of this positive change. Murder of Bashir Ahmed Bilour in a deadly suicide bomb attack ,four days before attack on MQM and now these deadly attack on the life of Bashir Jan explain the travails,risks ,and threats democratic parties should endure to get through the elections. Hats Off to every political party and people who are determined to go to the booth to decide their fate. ECP seems to have himalayan task ahead to conduct free and fair elections...None one can thwart the right of the people for self determination. My condolences for the victims .

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