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A man removing ANP stickers outside the party’s election office for PK-4 due to continual attacks on political parties. — Photo by INP
A man removing ANP stickers outside the party’s election office for PK-4 due to continual attacks on political parties. — Photo by INP

PESHAWAR: The election offices opened by different candidates of Awami National Party (ANP) in Peshawar have received letters from militants containing threats of dire consequences for supporting the secular party.

Scores of the party workers and leaders have been killed by the Taliban militants for having secular views in the run up to the historic May 11 polls. Bashir Bilour, a party stalwart and a senior politician, was assassinated in a militant attack in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa capital in December last year.

Several other ANP leaders including Bashir Jan, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour and Haroon Bilour have narrowly escaped the series of deadly militant attacks in the recent past.

More than 70 people have been killed in attacks targeting electioneering of certain political parties across the country since April 11.

The outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had vowed to attack the three secular political parties of the country. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) are the other two parties.

A hand written letter showed by an office bearer of ANP to this scribe was found in the party’s office on Friday.

The letter contained warning from militants ordering the ANP workers to shut down the office and stop supporting the party.

The sender of the letter also warned of dire consequences if the dictates were not obeyed.

The party leadership has been informed about the situation which has conveyed it to the concerned quarters, said an ANP activist.

He also disclosed that such letters have also been received in other offices of the party in the city.

The official said that they have directed party men to avoid opening offices throughout the day, adding that the offices should only be opened in the evenings for most important work in regards with public contacts.

He said intimidation by militants and attack on ANP candidates has badly affected the election campaign of party candidates. “We cannot openly display posters and pictures of our candidates because of fear of bomb blasts, he said.

An ANP activist said that he also has removed posters of Ghulam Ahmed Bilour and Haroon Bilour from his shop in order to avoid of being targeted by militants. “We have now confined our campaign to election offices and avoid displaying election material near our houses and business centres,” he added.

However, he expressed the resolve of continuing support to the party. – APP/