PARACHINAR, Feb 17: The tribal administration and candidates contesting for the NA-37 seat agreed on Sunday to postpone the polls because of the Saturday’s devastating bomb attack in Parachinar.
Meanwhile, another six people injured in the attack died, raising the death toll to 47.
Members of a jirga, comprising candidates and tribal elders, met political agent Zaheerul Islam, who is also the district returning officer, and it was announced that polling for the seat in Upper Kurram had been put off for an indefinite period.
There was, however, no Election Commission notification about the postponement till the filing of this report.
“All candidates visited us and requested that the polls should be put off because the people in the area were in a state of shock after the bombing,” the political tehsildar, Rasheed Khan, told Dawn. “We have not distributed election material among the presiding officers as curfew was imposed in the area on Saturday night,” he said.
Another official said that elections for the NA-38 seat in Lower Kurram would be held on Monday as scheduled.Twenty-four candidates are in the run for NA-37 and 20 for NA-38.
The Election Commission has already postponed elections for NA-42 in South Waziristan because of military operation going on in areas of the Mehsud tribe.
Thousands of people mourned the victims of the blast as the town remained under curfew.
Doctors said that six more victims had died in the town’s main hospital and one at the helipad in Parachinar.
About 50 critically-wounded people were airlifted to Peshawar by military helicopters.
It was not clear whether the car bombing was a suicide attack or if explosives had been planted in the car.
Assistant Political Agent Fida Muhammad said that a severed head of the suspected bomber had been found at the site.