Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police on Sunday said firing occurred near vehicles part of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s convoy in Dera Ismail Khan but the politician was not present when the incident occurred.

“Vehicles part of Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s convoy went to Yarak area for refuelling when the incident occurred,” District Police Officer (DPO) Rauf Kesrani told Dawn.com.

“Maulana Fazlur Rehman was not present,” he said without providing any further details.

The development comes days after the interior ministry warned that there were serious threats to the lives of the Maulana and Awami National Party provincial president Aimal Wali Khan.

In a statement, JUI-F spokesperson Aslam Ghauri termed today’s incident a “cowardly act”.

“They have repeatedly warned that the situation is not favorable for our leadership. The administration writes letters about the threats every day, but does not take any action,” he said.

He said the incident should be immediately investigated, questioning why security institutions were not fulfilling their responsibility.

“The law and order situation in KP and Balochistan is getting worse day by day,” Ghauri said.

Meanwhile, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani phoned the Maulana’s son and condemned the attack. He also prayed for the JUI-F chief’s well-being.

Lives under serious threats, warns ministry

In a letter to the chief secretaries and inspector general of police of all provinces and circulated by the ANP, the interior ministry had said it had received reports from reliable sources revealing serious threats to the lives of the Maulana and Aimal.

“It is requested that extreme caution and vigilance is exercised and necessary security arrangements are made at their [Mr Fazl and Mr Aimal’s] residences and during movement and public gatherings to avert any untoward incident,” it said in a letter.

At the time, JUI-F spokesperson Ghauri told Dawn that though he had not seen the interior ministry’s Dec 29 letter, such threats were a routine for his party leaders.

He said that “security threats” had stopped Fazl from participating in his election campaign in the native area of Dera Ismail Khan.

“Our party is facing many problems due to threats to its election campaign,” he said. Ghauri said that the Election Commission of Pakistan and law-enforcement agencies should think about providing security to his party’s leaders to ensure fair and free polls in the country.


Additional input by Nadir Guramani

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