Poll candidate shot dead in KP; one hurt in Turbat attack

Published January 11, 2024
This photo combo shows Kaleemullah Khan (L), an independent candidate contesting 2024 polls, and Mir Aslam Buledi, PML-N candidate for NA-258 (R). — File photos
This photo combo shows Kaleemullah Khan (L), an independent candidate contesting 2024 polls, and Mir Aslam Buledi, PML-N candidate for NA-258 (R). — File photos

NORTH WAZIRISTAN/QUETTA: An independent election candidate from the provincial assembly constituency PK-104 was gunned down along with his two companions in a targeted attack in the Mir Ali area of North Waziris­tan district on Wednesday, police officials said.

The candidate, Malik Kalimullah Dawar, was targeted when he was travelling back to his home in the Tapi area along with Masroor Khan and Muha­m­mad Sakhi. Police said their car came under fire by unidentified assailants and the three individuals died on the spot.

Sources said this was not the first assassination atte­mpt on Malik Dawar, as he had survived multiple such incidents in the past.

The latest attack occ­u­r­red in the same area where the vehicle of former lawmaker and National Democratic Movement (NDM) Chairman Mohsin Dawar had been shot at during an election campaign just last week.

Mir Aslam Buledi injured

Meanwhile, Mir Aslam Buledi, a senior nationalist politician and PML-N’s candidate for the National Assembly constituency NA-258 (Turbat-Panjgur), was critically wounded in an armed assault in Tur­bat town on Wednesday evening.

Mr Buledi, a former senator and provincial agriculture minister, was attacked during his evening walk in a local park. The attack was carried out by unidentified gunmen on motorcycles who opened fire on Mr Buledi using an AK-47 automatic rifle before fleeing the scene.

“The former senator received four bullets,” Hassan Jan Bloch, the Kech deputy commissioner, said, adding that police and security personnel rushed to the site and shifted the injured PML-N candidate to Turbat Teaching Hospital for immediate medical care.

Given the severity of Mr Buledi’s injuries, arrangements were being made to transfer him to Karachi for advanced treatment, Mr Baloch said.

No individual or group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Mir Aslam Buledi recently joined the PML-N during the visit of party supremo Nawaz Sharif and other leaders to Quetta. Mr Buledi was awarded the party ticket for NA-258.

Previously a member of the National Party, Mr Buledi had been elected as a senator and MPA but had remained largely inactive in politics in recent years. He is the father-in-law of PPP leader Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, a provincial assembly candidate from Turbat.

Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Ali Mardan Domki, provincial ministers and leaders of political parties strongly condemned the attack on Mr Buledi and described it as a “terrorist attack”.

Mr Domki has sought a report from the Home Department and directed officials of law enforcement agencies to take all possible steps to arrest the assailants.

“The attackers would be brought to justice soon and the government would take all steps for the protection of all candidates taking part in the upcoming elections,” the chief minister said. He said the provincial government was making all-out measures to hold elections peacefully.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2024

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