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KARACHI, Aug 17: The Awami National Party has condemned targeted killings of and attacks on its leaders, criticised the Sindh government as “inefficient” and demanded that the authorities arrest and punish the murderers immediately.

It appealed to Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to take suo motu notice of the situation. It also urged the Inter-Services Intelligence to ensure that culprits were caught immediately.

Speaking at a press conference at the Mardan House on Friday, Sindh ANP chief Senator Shahi Syed said that in view of Ramazan and Eidul Fitr, the party was not giving a strike call, but the patience of the party workers was running out and if the killings continued, the party would take a decision after Eid after consulting the ANP’s central leadership.

Condemning the third attack on the party’s provincial secretary-general Bashir Jan on Thursday, he said Mr Jan was lucky to have survived three attacks but many party leaders – Saeed Ahmed, Advocate Haneef, Hidayat Mehsood, Fazal Amin, Mohammad Shakeel and numerous others – and supporters had been killed. He deplored that killers were rarely if at all arrested.

Sen Syed said the same outfit had claimed responsibility for attacking the Kamra airbase, the Babusar Top carnage and the killing of ANP leader Amir Sardar, but the security agencies were taking no action against it.

He said the ANP had spread very quickly and the people of the city responded whenever it gave a protest call. He claimed that the people saw the party as an alternative leadership of the city, but owing to its being a part of the current inefficient government, the ANP’s credibility was being affected.

He said that while the central party leadership despite Sindh leadership’s reservations asked it to stick to the coalition, some leaders of the biggest party in the province criticised even the ANP leaders in television talk shows when they demanded protection from the government.

He said the ANP considered terrorists and religious extremists as the biggest threat to the security of the country. He said the ANP had sacrificed over 600 leaders and supporters and was the second biggest target of terrorists after the security forces. He demanded that the authorities uncover at whose behest the assassins were working.

He said if the situation did not improve immediately, the party would decide its future line of action after Eid.