KARACHI, May 3: Continuing their attacks on moderate political parties in Karachi, Taliban on Friday shot dead Sadiq Zaman Khattak, Awami National Party’s candidate for National Assembly. His four-year-old son also died in the attack.
A spokesman for the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Ihsanullah Ihsan, told Dawn.com from an unspecified location that the killing was the work of his organisation.
He said the assassination was in line with TTP’s resolve to attack secular parties, the PPP, MQM and ANP.
Mr Khattak, a candidate for Karachi’s NA-254 seat, is the first candidate killed during the election violence in the city.
Earlier, MQM’s candidate for provincial and national assembly seats in Hyderabad was shot dead and the PPP’s covering candidate was killed in Karachi.
The bomb and armed attacks in the country have claimed the lives of at least
70 people and left more than 350 injured.
Police said that when Mr Khattak, his two sons and some workers of his party came out of Rehmania mosque in Korangi’s Bilal Colony after Friday prayers, four terrorists on motorcycles opened fire on them.
Mr Khattak, his two sons Aimal Khan, 4, and teenager Shahid Zaman, and four other men — Islam Iqbal, Mohammad Khalid, Mohammad Faisal and Qayyum Raja — suffered multiple bullet injuries.
They were taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre where doctors pronounced Mr Khattak and Aimal Khan dead.
Doctors said Mr Khattak had suffered 13 bullet wounds and Aimal 10 bullet wounds.
“Mr Sadiq Zaman Khattak and all other ANP candidates had been receiving threats for a long time and the phone numbers from where these threatening calls were being made had been provided to law-enforcement agencies, but no security was provided to our candidates,” ANP Sindh chapter’s General Secretary Bashir Jan told Dawn.
Mr Jan said that Mr Khattak was general secretary of the party in District East and he was a poet.
Sindh ANP President Senator Shahi Syed said the party would register a case against chief election commissioner, caretaker chief minister of Sindh and the IGP.
The ANP Sindh announced a day of mourning across the province on Saturday. The mourning would be peaceful and business and transport would not be affected, a spokesman for the party said.
Funeral prayers of Mr Khattak and his son were offered at the PIA’s cargo terminal and were attended by a large number of people.
The Election Commission of Pakistan has postponed elections on the seat because of Mr Khattak’s assassination.