Election hopeful among 3 killed in firing on vehicle in North Waziristan

Published January 10, 2024
Kaleemullah Khan, an independent candidate contesting elections from North Waziristan, was killed in firing on Wednesday. — Photo by Ali Akbar
Kaleemullah Khan, an independent candidate contesting elections from North Waziristan, was killed in firing on Wednesday. — Photo by Ali Akbar

Kaleemullah Khan, an independent candidate contesting for the upcoming general elections from PK-104, was killed in firing on his vehicle in the Tappi area of North Waziristan on Wednesday, police said.

North Waziristan District Police Officer (DPO) Rohan Zeb told Dawn.com that Kaleemullah was on his way back home from Miranshah when his convoy was attacked by unknown assailants.

“Two of his bodyguards were also killed in the firing,” the official added.

In a separate incident today, former senator and PML-N leader Aslam Buledi was injured in firing in Balochistan’s Turbat. He is contesting for the polls from NA-258.

Kech Superintendent of Police (SP) Zia Mandokhail confirmed the incident to Dawn.com. “Buledi was walking in a park when unknown persons opened fire and wounded him,” he said.

The official said Buledi sustained bullet injuries — one on the shoulder and the other on his foot. He has been moved to the District Headquarters Hospital Turbat.

In a statement issued immediately after the attack, caretaker Balochistan Chief Minister Ali Mardan Domki strongly condemned the incident and summoned a report from the interior department.

CM Domki vowed that all resources would be used to arrest culprits involved in the attack. He also directed officials to provide foolproof security to all electoral candidates in the province.

Further, he prayed for Buledi’s speedy recovery and instructed that the PML-N leader be provided with the best medical facilities.

Meanwhile, in a post on X, former Balochistan CM Jam Kamal Khan condemned the incident. “Through such cowardly actions, miscreants want to sabotage the electoral process in Balochistan by spreading fear and panic,” he said, adding that such elements would only face failure.

Polls and security situation

Today’s attack comes as Pakistan prepares for polls on February 8. The country has seen a spike in terror incidents in recent days, particularly in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Last week, former MNA Mohsin Dawar survived an armed attack on his convoy in the Tapi area of Miramshah tehsil in KP’s North Waziristan. The attack on Dawar’s convoy occurred during an election rally. The assailants opened fire and subsequently fled.

The same day, JUI-F’s Qari Khairullah also narrowly escaped a roadside bomb in Bajaur.

In a letter written to chief secretaries and inspector general of police of all provinces on Dec 30, the interior ministry said it had received reports from reliable sources revealing serious threats to the life of JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman and Awami National Party provincial president Aimal Wali Khan.

In view of this situation, certain political circles have recently voiced reservations about holding elections on Feb 8. On Friday, the Senate passed a resolution, moved by independent Senator Dilawar Khan with only 15 lawmakers in attendance, seeking to delay the polls due to security concerns.

However, the passage of the resolution was roundly criticised by various political parties, while the caretaker information minister had insisted that there was no directive of the prime minister or the federal cabinet for a delay.

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